The NBA has postponed all three of Wednesday’s games following the decision by the Milwaukee Bucks to boycott Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic in the wake of the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis.
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder announced shortly after the Bucks’ decision that they would also be boycotting their game Wednesday, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers quickly followed suit ahead of their own Game 5 as players step away from the court in protest.
Blake, a 29-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot in the back seven times by officers on Sunday.
The Bucks did not take to the court for pregame warmups Wednesday afternoon, and as the 4 p.m. ET tip-off approached they remained inside the team’s locker room. Members of the Magic who were warming up then left the court a few minutes prior to the schedule game time.
“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeated‘s Marc J. Spears following the Bucks’ decision to boycott. Per Shams Charania, Bucks players in the locker room were attempting to reach Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul.
A few hours after deciding not to play against the Magic, the entire Bucks team gathered outside of their locker room to deliver a statement.
Earlier, Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said they “fully support our players and the decision they made.”
According to NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, a meeting will be held Wednesday night for players to discuss how to move forward, with Wojnarowski noting that talks are ongoing as to the status of Thursday’s games and even the remainder of the season.
The NBA has taken measures inside the Orlando bubble to continue important conversations about racial injustices and police brutality, with players having the option to wear social justice messages on their jerseys, and many kneeling for the anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But a growing number of players have expressed increasing concern that these messages are getting lost as the games proceed.
“We shouldn’t have even come to this damn place, to be honest,” Hill told reporters earlier this week. “I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
During an assembly organized inside the bubble Tuesday night, many players expressed feeling emotionally traumatized and that they were not in the right frame of mind to play basketball after seeing the video of Blake being shot while attempting to get into his own car with his young children inside.
Reports surfaced earlier Wednesday that the NBA Players Association’s executive committee was “in active discussions with players who are seeking guidance on the logistics of potentially boycotting games.”
The NBA announced that all three games will be rescheduled.