The NBA postponed its entire slate of playoff games yesterday after the Milwaukee Bucks sat out the scheduled Game 5 of its series against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks’ strike comes amid growing unrest toward police violence in the U.S. and an ensuing spotlight on the league’s social justice initiatives during the restarted season.
The conversation was renewed this week after police shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
Players within the NBA bubble met last night to discuss the way forward for the rest of the playoffs. The NBA scheduled a special Board of Governors meeting for this morning.
WNBA games were also canceled Wednesday. Atlanta Dream’s Elizabeth Williams read a statement on behalf of all WNBA players on ESPN announcing that they “stand in solidarity” with the NBA and “look to take collective action” with players across all leagues.
Spreading Across Sports
Several MLB teams also decided not to play last night, including the Seattle Mariners — who have the most Black players of any MLB team — and the Milwaukee Brewers.
MLS also postponed five of its Wednesday matches.
The NHL elected to hold a moment of reflection before one of its two remaining playoff games.
Naomi Osaka announced she would not play in her semifinal match at The Western & Southern Open today in protest of police brutality occurring in the U.S. The tournament later paused play until Friday.