No fans. And now, no players. In light of the violence currently happening in Milwaukee due to the shooting of Jacob Blake, The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5 of their first-round series with the Orlando Magic.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the game was originally scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. ET, yet the Bucks remained in the locker room with the start approaching. The Orlando Magic had been warming up but subsequently left the court as well.
“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Bucks guard George Hill said to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
Bucks general manager Jon Horst later announced Milwaukee players would not speak to the media on Wednesday, per Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report.
Alex Lasry, the team’s vice president of strategic marketing and business operations, indicated the organization will support the players’ decision:
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Earlier Wednesday, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee was discussing on the logistics of staging a boycott in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Haynes noted some players felt as though they weren’t “in the right frame of mind to play basketball.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have also decided to boycott Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series. The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, who were scheduled to play the last of three games scheduled for Wednesday, are also reportedly were discussing boycotting their Game 5.
Sunday, police reported to an alleged domestic disturbance on Sunday. Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family, said Blake was at the scene to break up a fight between two women.
A video showed Blake walking to the driver’s side door, with two officers following him with their guns drawn. As he opened the door, one officer grabbed the bottom of Blake’s tank top, and multiple gunshots are heard.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Ashley Luthern reported Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after his spinal cord was severed as result of the shooting. He also suffered internal organ damage.
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Monday, the Bucks released this statement in reaction to the shooting:
“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.”
SOURCE: Bleacher Report