The Milwaukee Bucks have boycotted their NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin.
Game five of the first round of their Eastern Conference series was set to take place this evening in the NBA’s bubble in Disneyworld.
The Milwaukee Bucks elected not to come out of the locker room ahead of the game. The Orlando Magic warmed up however they elected to leave the court five minutes before the game was about to begin.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks players made the decision in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin.
The Bucks players made this decision in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, ultimately deciding that they wouldn't leave the locker room for the start of Game 5 against Orlando. https://t.co/COJ6E0aJLj
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
Blake was shot several times by in the back by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin as he opened the door of his car.
He underwent surgery Tuesday and his family says he is now paralysed from the waist down. His shooting sparked nationwide demonstrations, with protesters demanding police reform.
Players from other teams left in the NBA playoffs including the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors have also reportedly considered boycotting games in protest over the shooting.
Speaking on the issue earlier in the day, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart outlined that he believed boycotting games may be the only way to get the players’ message across.
“We tried the peaceful way, kneeling, we tried to protest, we tried to come out here and get together and play this game and tried to get our voice across, but it’s not working,” the 26-year-old told reporters.
“So, obviously, something has to be done.
“Right now, our focus shouldn’t really be on basketball. I understand it’s the playoffs and everything like that, but we still have a bigger underlying issue that’s going on, and the things that we’ve tried haven’t been working. We definitely need to take a different approach.”