NBA finals in chaos as leading team stages Black Lives boycott
The NBA has postponed all three of its Wednesday playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their match against Orlando Magic because of racial injustice.
Orlando Magic assistant coach Mike Batiste looks on before Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, where NBA players made their strongest statement yet against racial injustice. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
There were earlier reports the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder were also planning to boycott their game which was also scheduled to be played later on in the day.
“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – Bucks vs Magic, Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed.
“Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,” the NBA announced late Wednesday afternoon.
Alex Lasry, the Bucks’ senior vice-president, said in a tweet. “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 per cent behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change,” Lasry added.
The Orlando Magic issued a statement indicating the organisation’s support for Milwaukee’s decision.
“Today we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of colour,” the statement read.
Milwaukee’s action comes on the heels of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
Meanwhile in Major League Baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds agreed not to play Wednesday night’s game in Milwaukee, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond.