The Milwaukee Bucks have made the decision to sit out Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the racial injustice and police brutality occurring throughout the country. The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder also elected to sit out, and then the NBA officially postponed those two games and also the Lakers-Trail Blazers game.
The WNBA teams scheduled have decided not to partake in any games tonight and delivered a message on the power of the vote and the importance of taking action. Three Major League Baseball games have also been postponed for tonight as teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers, have chosen to act in solidarity with the Bucks.
On Sunday, police shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back multiple times as he was opening the door of a parked car in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his children in the car. Blake survived the shooting, but is in serious condition.
Since the shooting, players have raised their voices to use their platform to help tackle the major issue of racial inequality in the United States. The Milwaukee Bucks, with this shooting close to home, took serious action and have decided not to play, at least for now.
Since the NBA resumed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the wake of social justice protests following the death of George Floyd, players have worn messages of equality and demands of justice and "Black Lives Matter" is painted on the bubble court.
This statement marks four years to the day from when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat for the anthem for the first time.
Players flooded to social media to show support for the Bucks. Here are some of their reactions:
The Bucks tweeted that they fully support their players, saying they continue to stand by them as they demand accountability and change.
August 26, 2020
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
NBA fans offered support for the Bucks, including former President Barack Obama.
I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2020
NBA Stars, past and present, offered their thoughts on the Bucks players' decision.
Warning: NSFW language
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
A historic statement for justice. Respect, @bucks.#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/cTZSoQIvy6— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) August 26, 2020
.@Bucks power. Black power.— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) August 26, 2020
Nothing but respect for Milwaukee’s players and coaches. #BlackLivesMatter
#BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/Yn1vF0G6en— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) August 26, 2020
We stand in support of those using their platform for change.#BlackLivesMatter— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 26, 2020
Center @E_Williams_1 reads statement on @espn as the representative for all @WNBA players. Tonight's games have been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/xDz4uCQSiD— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND CHANGE! SALUTE @Bucks ✊🏾🙏🏾🗣— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 26, 2020
✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿 https://t.co/ytzjuJtBCK— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 26, 2020
We have the strongest, most unified league in the world!!! #change— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 26, 2020
Just in case you forgot‼️#BiggerThanBasketball pic.twitter.com/NX4CcD9v1E— John Wall (@JohnWall) August 26, 2020
Proud of my brothers✊🏻@Bucks @NBA #NecessaryGoodTrouble #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/sYOos4prW8— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 26, 2020
Proud to be apart of this League... even more today ! WE WANT CHANGE🖤🖤— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) August 26, 2020
August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) August 26, 2020
Respect @bucks!!!!— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) August 26, 2020
We need CHANGE!— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) August 26, 2020
Change can NOT wait!
this shit gotta stop ‼️— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) August 26, 2020
Powerful move by the Bucks but now I’m curious to see what are OKC, Houston, Lakers and Blazers are going to do?!— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 26, 2020
Salute!!! @Bucks— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) August 26, 2020
.@JamesWorthy42 shares his thoughts on racial injustice and the NBA postponements. pic.twitter.com/d6XPPeVhy7— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) August 27, 2020
On his pre-game media availability @chicagosky coach James Wade said @AtlantaDream is not playing tonight. #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/8jEB2AZPbG— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) August 26, 2020
Tennis star Naomi Osaka also said she would be sitting out in solidarity.
August 27, 2020
Following her announcement, the Western and Southern Open announced play at the tournament would be suspended.
August 27, 2020
A handful of NFL players also weighed in as well.
FED UP. Ain’t enough money in world to keep overlooking true issues that effect the mind body & soul of what we do. We cannot be happy for self when our communities are suffering & innocent folk are dying.. since George Floyd, there have been at least 20 other police shootings. https://t.co/UmzuuWP7us— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 26, 2020
Respect to the guys in the Bucks locker room. Taking a stand for what they believe in and for justice! https://t.co/mLKURgaqiO— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) August 26, 2020
Some MLB and NHL players came forward with support.
"It's more than sports."@Brewers reliever Josh Hader weighs in on the @Bucks boycott. pic.twitter.com/flGuRdTOJu— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) August 26, 2020
Major statement by the NBA players 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽 I’m with it!— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) August 26, 2020
TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith decided to stand with the players, saying, "And for me, I think the biggest thing now is to kind of, as a Black man, as a former player, I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight," before walking off the set of Inside the NBA
He said he had not yet spoken with the players yet about the situation.
.@TheJetOnTNT stands with the NBA players. pic.twitter.com/39Sby1D5kn— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
Wizards star Bradley Beal weighed in, in support of Smith.
Damn right Kenny Smith!— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 26, 2020