The Milwaukee Bucks are making a stance and have opted to boycott game five of their first round playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
Players remained in the locker room and refused to step foot on the court with the Magic reportedly wanting to play before they also returned to the locker room.
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the news the Bucks players would not be playing the scheduled game of the series in protest against police brutality.
“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,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill said the players are sick of the killing of innocent black men and women.
“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Hill told The Undefeated.
We just witnessed one of the most historic and groundbreaking moments in sports history for fighting for social justice with the Bucks boycotting the game.
Blake was shot in the back seven times at close range by police officers after breaking up a fight between two women.
Miraculously Blake survived but was later confirmed to be paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting rocked America and led to widespread protests, following in the wake of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor deaths.
“We’re not coming out for awhile. There will be a team statement,” Bucks General Manager Jon Horst said.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are also boycotting game five of their series. Three games were scheduled to be played on Thursday with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers discussing boycotting their game slated for 11am (AEST).
Decision made. Thunder and Rockets are boycotting Game 5, sources said. https://t.co/SCNAjsQYea
NBA players have used their platforms throughout the entirety of their time inside the Orlando bubble to demand justice for those who shot and killed Taylor while demanding equality.
Players threw their support behind the Bucks’ move not to take the floor in protest of the recent shooting. A move that could spell the end of the playoffs.
“F*** this man! We demand change. Sick of it,” LeBron James tweeted.
“For those who don’t understand what going on, it will always be bigger than basketball! We demand change!!! We demand justice! Have a blessed day,” Warriors guard Eric Paschall wrote.
“We demand justice,” Denver’s Jamal Murray tweeted.
“We demand change! Salute @Bucks,” Utah’s Donovan Mitchell tweeted.
👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽LOVE IT @Bucks
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