After multiple meetings between the players and the league, the NBA playoffs are expected to resume this weekend following Wednesday’s player-led boycotts over the shooting of Jacob Blake. Thursday’s games were postponed.
“NBA playoff games for today will not be played as scheduled. We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday,” the league said. There is a video conference call scheduled between a group of players and team officials set for later this afternoon.
On Wednesday, the league postponed all three playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to come out to protest the shooting of Blake, an unarmed Black man, by a police officer.
The Bucks’ protest boycott sparked what has now turned into a nationwide movement among professional athletes. Six MLB teams decided they wouldn’t play on Wednesday — leading to the postponement of three games — and Thursday saw multiple NFL teams cancel their practices. Tennis pro Naomi Osaka said she would sit out her semifinal match of the Western and Southern Open. Following Osaka’s decision, the U.S. Tennis Association, Women’s Tennis Association and ATP Tour suspended Thursday’s tournament play.
On Sunday, Blake was shot in the back by a police officer seven times while walking away from them after breaking up a fight. In the United States, it is lawful to refuse to speak to police officers and also for people not under arrest to walk away from them. And as cellphone video showed, he was not behaving in a confrontational manner; despite this, police shot him in front of his children while he was getting into his car. The shooting has led to protests in Kenosha over another Black person being shot by police. Blake reportedly is paralyzed by the gunshot wounds, his family’s attorney told the Associated Press.
The WNBA has also postponed all of its Thursday’s games but gave no timetable for a resumption of play. Multiple MLB teams have said they will not play Thursday and the NHL has reportedly postponed its playoff games for both Thursday and Friday.