The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of a first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. The game, originally scheduled for 3:10 p.m. CST, has been postponed.
The Bucks released this statement:
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.
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 in 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.
“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Bucks guard George Hill told ESPN’s The Undefeated earlier in the day.
“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. “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-Magic game wasn’t the only game postponed on Wednesday. Following the Bucks’ decision, the NBA tweeted this statement:
The NBA and the NBPA 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 – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.
On Monday, soon after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the Bucks released this statement:
The Bucks organization is praying for the recovery of Jacob Blake, who was shot multiple times in the back by a police officer at point blank range in Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
We stand firmly against reoccurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the black community.
Our organization will continue to stand for all black lives as we demand accountability and systemic change on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sylville Smith, Ernest Lacy, Dontre Hamilton, Tony Robinson, Joel Acevedo and countless other victims. We will work to enact policy change so these incidents no longer exist.
On Tuesday, Bucks reporter Zora Stephenson tweeted: “@Bucks had a talk today b4 film about the shooting of Jacob Blake and the ongoing injustices. Anyone who wanted to share could. Brook said Wesley Matthews, Vin Baker, & Darvin Ham all brought up great points. The biggest take away: ‘We can’t be complacent in these times.'”
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020