Players from the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trail Blazers have joined the Milwaukee Bucks in boycotting their upcoming Game 5 matchups in response to the latest highly-publicized police shooting of an unarmed Black man.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) drives around San Antonio Spurs guard Bryn Forbes, rear, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake in front of his sons on Sunday. Blake survived and is in stable condition despite taking seven bullets to the back, but the 29-year-old is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Stars across the NBA spoke out after a horrifying video of the incident circulated online. Talks of player protests and teams potentially missing their upcoming playoff matchups started up shortly thereafter, with stars in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World describing feeling trapped and helpless as social unrest has returned to the forefront of the conversation.
The Bucks, who were scheduled to play the Orlando Magic Wednesday afternoon, were the first NBA team to boycott their playoff matchup. Though Orlando players were intent on competing, they vacated the floor with four minutes remaining before tip-off as it became apparent their opponents would not participate.
« We’re tired of the killings and the injustice, » Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeated after the game’s designated start time.
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder also chose not to play Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers decided to follow suit.
Whether or not the games scheduled for Thursday will continue as planned remains to be seen. Teams choosing to boycott Wednesday’s contests will not be charged with forfeits, but it is still unclear if an already derailed season will continue.
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