The Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play their scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic to take a stand against racial injustice and violence from police officers.
Specifically, the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Kenosha, a city near the Wisconsin-Illinois border.
Other NBA teams slated to play also decided to protest. The WNBA canceled games. Select MLB teams and players have followed, including Jason Heyward electing not to play for the Cubs' game against the Tigers in Detroit.
The Bucks addressed the media as a united group, and Sterling Brown and George Hill read a prepared statement on behalf of their team
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 November 3.
Bucks ownership also released a statement supporting their players.
Bucks team read statement to media after boycotting playoff game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago