NBA playoff games were cancelled for a second straight day yesterday, but players pledged to return to the court as they sought support from team owners in tackling racial injustice.
A Milwaukee Bucks boycott inside the NBA’s Orlando “bubble” sparked a wave of protest that ultimately saw dozens of games called off across an array of sports — basketball, football, baseball, ice hockey and tennis.
Black players, their teammates and supporters demanded action in the face of yet another police shooting of an African American after Jacob Blake was shot several times in the back in the Midwestern city of Kenosha on Sunday.
The Bucks boycott, which was joined by their scheduled opponents the Orlando Magic, prompted the NBA to postpone playoff games for two days as players from all teams debated whether to continue the season already disrupted by coronavirus.
Players agreed yesterday to continue the playoffs, with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers — who had been in favour the other night of abandoning the season — reportedly “on board” with the decision.
ESPN and other US media reported that games would most likely resume this weekend.
Players from all 13 teams in Orlando, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association, the league office and NBA Labor Relations Committee Chairman and basketball legend Michael Jordan met to discuss player concerns.
Details of the meeting were not immediately available, but ESPN reported that players pushed for owners to join them in a “direct action plan” to promote voter turnout, police accountability and police reform legislation.*AFP