(WFRV) – The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott game five against the Orlando Magic in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
The NBA has since announced all games have been postponed in the wake of the Bucks’ decision not to play. All three games between the Bucks-Magic, Lakers-Trail Blazers, and Thunder-Rockets will be rescheduled.
Later on Wednesday night the Bucks as a team came out of the locker room and delivered a statement to the media about their decision to boycott the game.
“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.
“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.
“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.”
The Bucks ownership group of Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, and Jamie Dinan released a statement that read:
“We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”
Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeated, “We’re tired of the killings and the injustice.”
Team Senior Vice President Alex Lasry made a comment via Twitter earlier that read, “Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”
The Athletic was first to report Milwaukee was having serious discussions about not playing right before game time. The Orlando Magic soon after left the court at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics reportedly had conversations over the past couple of days about boycotting the first game of their second series on Thursday.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was reporting NBA executives were outside the Bucks locker room and have not gone inside.
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