The Milwaukee Bucks are boycotting Game 5 of their series with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday afternoon amid continuing unrest in Wisconsin after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
According to multiple reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Bucks were “engaged in serious conversations” about boycotting the game against the Magic, and came to the decision to do so Wednesday afternoon, according to Wojnarowski.
Later Wednesday, the league announced that all three games scheduled Wednesday, including a tilt between the Thunder and Rockets and another game between the Lakers and Trail Blazers, have been postponed.
After the reports came out, Milwaukee Bucks Senior VP Alex Lasry posted a tweet supporting the players' decision:
According to NBA TV Reporter Rebecca Haarlow, the Bucks are still in their locker room, but neither they nor the Magic plan to issue a statement today. The NBA does intend to release a statement on the boycott:
The Bucks did not come out of their locker room for the scheduled start time at 3:10 p.m. The Magic were on the court for warm-ups, but have since gone back to their locker rooms.
The referees that were set to work the game also went back to their dressing room just before the scheduled tip-off time.
Bucks guard George Hill spoke to Marc Spears of The Undefeated after the decision was made:
"We're tired of the killings and the injustice," Hill said.
Kenosha, where Blake was shot by a police officer over the weekend, is approximately 40 miles from Milwaukee.
Ever since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the NBA has embraced the Black Lives Matter movement, painting the message on their courts during their time in Orlando. Players were also allowed to put slogans onto their jerseys during games in the aftermath of Floyd's death.
The Bucks' organization has also had to deal with the impacts of police brutality in recent years. In Jan. 2018, Bucks guard Sterling Brown was stopped for illegally parking in two parking spots. During the stop, which was caught on video, Brown was thrown to the ground, tased, and wrongfully arrested.
Brown later filed a civil rights lawsuit against the police department and the city of Milwaukee in the case.
NBA players from around the league, including Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Los Angeles' LeBron James, have posted support for the Bucks' players on social media: