The professional sports world came to a halt on Wednesday night, with the biggest news coming out of the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic game was shut down due to the protest of the Bucks, and the remaining teams deciding how they would proceed for the remainder of the season. Players from the Lakers and Clippers have taken a vote to boycott the remaining games of the NBA season (though it seems there may be some back peddling happening already, leaving the playoffs in limbo).
Everything began earlier this evening with the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to take to the court, and the Magic refusing to accept the teams forfeit.
Bucks players are in locker room attempting to reach the attorney general of Wisconsin, Josh Kaul, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Magic players are leaving the arena soon — not accepting the Bucks‘ forfeit.Featured Videos
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 26, 2020
With the game officially called off, the NBA was forced to make a call – All games were postponed across the NBA tonight.
“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,” the statement read.
As the conversation spread across the NBA, teams had to make a choice as to how to proceed for the remaining games in the season. The player’s meeting was heated, with LeBron James demanding that the owners do more, walking out of the meeting after the Lakers and Clippers voted to Boycott the remaining games of the season. All other teams voted to continue play.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
Told the players’ meeting ended "ugly," per a source, with uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow. The union will be present at the special Board of Governors meeting, per a source.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) August 27, 2020
Jacob Blake Protests across the spectrum of professional sports
- On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions refused to practice as part of a protest of the Jacob Blake shooting.
- Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford spoke out in support of the move – saying it was the proudest he has ever been to be a Detroit Lion.
“There’s been a lot of days I’ve been proud to be a Lion and QB in the NFL, but there’s never been a day I’ve been more proud than today.
- Three MLB Games were postponed due to player protests. Games between the Cincinnati Reds and Brewers in Milwaukee, Seattle Mariners, and Padres in San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco were called off hours before they were set to begin.
- Five MLS Games were called off after players from Miami and Atlanta United delayed their kickoffs as players from both teams conversed as to how to proceed. MLS issued the following statement, postponing all 5 matches scheduled for tonight:“Major League Soccer has made the decision to postpone the remaining five matches — Miami-Atlanta, Dallas-Colorado, Real Salt Lake-LAFC, San Jose-Portland, LA Galaxy-Seattle — scheduled for this evening. Each match will be rescheduled.”
Atlanta United issued a statement about the decision that read: “We stand in solidarity with the Black Community, with our players, our city and our fans in the fight against injustice. We must use our voices to be the change.”
The Portland Timbers also made a statement: “The Portland Timbers stand in support of our players and their decision not to play tonight. Racial injustice and police brutality towards Black people in our country must end now.”
The MLS Players Association tweeted in response to the National Basketball Players Association, “We stand with you. #JusticeForJacobBlake” — Quotes via ESPN
- The WNBA had 3 games scheduled for Wednesday night – All 3 were postponed in support and protest.
The WNBA’s games Wednesday were between the Atlanta Dream and defending WNBA champion Mystics, the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx, and the Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury.
Dream forward Elizabeth Williams said in a statement –
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA and will continue this conversation with our brothers and sisters across all leagues and look to take collective action,”
“What we have seen over the last few months, and most recently with the brutal police shooting of Jacob Blake, is overwhelming. And while we hurt for Jacob and his community, we also have an opportunity to keep the focus on the issues and demand change.“
“These moments are why it’s important for our fans to stay focused, hear our voices, know our hearts, and connect the dots from what we say to what we do.”
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert’s statements on the protest:
“We absolutely support them,” Engelbert said of the WNBA players. “We are running a very player-first agenda. We said that from the beginning. And that’s why I was here to listen, to talk with them, maybe impart some of my knowledge from my experience and really help them think through strategically what this night meant to them and then where do they go from here.”