Milwaukee Bucks players refuse to play game in protest of Jacob Blake shooting

Aug 26 2020, 10:10 pm

Milwaukee Bucks players have left the floor and are refusing to play in today’s playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

The NBA’s best team, including the reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, has decided to boycott the game following the shooting of Jacob Blake, which occurred in their home state of Wisconsin.

The boycott was unannounced, with Bucks players leaving the court with 3:56 to go before game time, reports ESPN’s Malika Andrews. The game was supposed to start at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.

“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry announced on Twitter. “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 Bucks are the first team to boycott a game, but they won’t be the last.

The other two games on the schedule today — Rockets vs Thunder and Lakers vs Trail Blazers — will be boycotted as well, according to a pair of reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The games will be rescheduled, the NBA announced.

Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics players reportedly met last night to discuss boycotting Game 1 of their series, which is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

An unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Blake was shot seven times by police in front of his three sons and has been left paralyzed.

Raptors players Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell were visibly shaken by what happened yesterday and spoke openly about considering a boycott.

“I was pretty excited [about the series] and then we all had to watch Jacob Blake get shot yesterday,” said VanVleet. “That kind of changes the tone of things and puts things in perspective.”

Powell confirmed a boycott had been talked about among his Raptors teammates.

“There’s a lot of things that are being talked about and how to approach this sensitive issue. I think everybody’s at the point of sitting up and saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ and sitting up there and having these discussions and Zoom calls… and putting apparel on — that’s not getting the job done. Taking a knee for the anthem, that’s not getting the job done.”

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