KEY POINTS

  • The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic 
  • The Bucks said their focus cannot be on basketball as they protest the shooting of Jacob Blake
  • The rest of the playoff games on Wednesday were postponed by the NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks took a stand on Wednesday afternoon when they decided not to show up in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The boycott triggered a sudden movement in the NBA as the other teams scheduled to play later in the day followed suit, forcing the league the ultimately postpone the games.

“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,” the Bucks said in a statement after they emerged from a three-hour deliberation inside their dugout at the bubble.

“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 at 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 NBA, players, and coaches are reported to hold a meeting to discuss further steps in addressing the said issues.

As of posting, there is no clear indication on what lies ahead for the NBA this season, but sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that a “sizeable” number of players still intend to finish what they have started in the bubble, believing that their platform could be utilized at the maximum advantage in their call for racial justice and equality.

Shortly after the NBA announcement, the WNBA, MLB, and MLS have also decided to call off their respective games.