NBA Players Agree to Continue Playoffs Following Boycott in Honor of Jacob Blake: Reports
On Wednesday night, the scheduled playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks staged a walk-out and didn't take the court
After two Los Angeles teams reportedly initially decided to boycott the remainder of the NBA playoffs in order to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, players have opted to continue the season, ESPN said.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that a source said the players voted to continue the playoffs. The resumption of play should happen by this weekend, Wojnarowski reported.
According to the report, players came to the decision after an 11:00 a.m. meeting on Thursday. Later in the day, players from each team will reportedly meet with league owners.
One day prior, sports reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic, reported that sources indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers "have voted to boycott the NBA season." Charania added that "most other teams voted to continue." Sources told Charania that Lakers star LeBron James walked out of a meeting where the league was discussing the strike, calling on executives to take action.
On Thursday, Charnia also reported that players had voted to resume play.
On Wednesday night, the scheduled playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks staged a walk-out and didn't take the court.
In a statement at the time, the Lakers said they "stand with our players and the players of the NBA in their demand for justice and the end of racial violence."
"Eighty percent of NBA players are Black men. We cannot love them for the joy and entertainment that they bring to the world, yet sit in silence and fail to use our platforms and resources to amplify their voices when they demand the justice and equality that America has promised us all, but denied Black people for too long," the statement read.
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Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement that he is "again angry over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake." Ballmer also called on lawmakers to seek prison reform nationwide.v
During a press conference earlier in the day on Wednesday, Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said that the team had then had conversations about a possible boycott.
"I'm very aware of what's happened in Kenosha, and I think myself and our players and our organization are very disturbed by what's happened in Kenosha," Budenholzer told reporters. "It's a great challenge to have an appreciation and a desire to want change and something different, better in Kenosha and Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and then to go out and play a game."
"Our team has had lots of conversations and has a high level of concern and wants to continue to fight for racial justice, for social justice, for the end of excessive use of force by police," Budenholzer said.
The WNBA also postponed Wednesday's games, and players from the Mystics, Dream, Lynx, Sun, Mercury and Sparks kneeled on the court wearing shirts that spelled out Jacob Blake's name.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.