The Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play on Wednesday during the NBA Playoffs over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NBA confirmed the development on Wednesday afternoon, saying that “in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic,” three NBA games have been postponed. They include Milwaukee’s game against the Orlando Magic, the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder game, and the Los Angeles Lakers-Portland TrailBlazers game.
The Bucks’ decision won’t be counted as a forfeit, the NBA’s statement suggested. The Bucks are currently up 3-1 against the Magic in a best-of-seven series.
“Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,” the league said.
“Our team has had lots of conversations and has a high level of concern and wants to continue to fight for racial justice, for social justice, for the end of excessive use of force by police, but I think it’s best for our team conversations and what we’re thinking and doing to stay private until if and when a player or myself decides something needs to be made public,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks Vice President Alexander Lasry said in a statement after the team didn’t take the floor.
A video uploaded online appeared to show police officers in Kenosha, located about 65 miles north of Chicago, shooting Blake several times. Blake was seen hurriedly walking away from officers who had guns drawn before getting inside his SUV and trying to grab something from the vehicle. Officers then shot him several times.
Other footage appeared to show Blake in a struggle with officers before he walked to his vehicle.
It came after officers responded to a domestic incident on Sunday afternoon. According to police scanner audio, a woman called 911 to report Blake at her home when he wasn’t supposed to be, and that he took her keys and wouldn’t give them back. A dispatcher said that Blake had an arrest warrant for sexual assault issued in July.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25, a number of NBA players have become increasingly vocal about Black Lives Matter-related issues, with the league going so far as to emblazon “Black Lives Matter” on the court during games. Numerous players have also taken knees instead of standing during the playing of the national anthem, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
“I would say this—if they don’t stand for the national anthem I hope they don’t open. But other than that I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible for getting them open. They can protest in other ways. They shouldn’t protest our flag or our country,” Trump said of sports leagues.
“I think it’s horrible for basketball ratings. They’re down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. … They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re driving down, going up for the shot. They don’t need it. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in trouble, I think it’s in big trouble—bigger trouble than they understand,” the Republican said.