Sports

NBA postpones Wednesday's playoff games as players protest shooting of Jacob Blake

Key Points
  • All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday will be postponed, as players protest the shooting Sunday of Jacob Blake, the league announced.
  • The protest began when players from the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic didn't show up on the court for their playoff game that was scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
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NBA cancels all playoff games as players boycott to protest Jacob Blake shooting

All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday will be postponed as players protest the shooting Sunday of Jacob Blake, the league announced. The games will be rescheduled.

"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 league said in a statement.

Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The incident has sparked protests in Kenosha throughout the week. Blake is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.

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The NBA protest started when players from the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks did not take the court when their playoff game was scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The NBA announced it would postpone all games on Wednesday following reports that the other teams scheduled to play planned to boycott their games as well.

Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry told CNBC: "I fully support what the team is doing and I am going to do whatever I can to help them get their message out to try and bring about change."

Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Bucks, tweeted his support for the players' protest:

The WNBA also said it will not play its three games Wednesday night following the shooting of Jacob Blake over the weekend.

In Bradenton, Florida, on Wednesday, Washington was set to play Atlanta, Minnesota was going to face Los Angeles, and Connecticut was going to meet Phoenix. Players from the Mystics, Dream, Sparks and Lynx were talking on the court for about an hour deciding whether to play or not. The decision was announced shortly before the expected 7 pm. EDT tip for the Mystics and Dream.

All four teams took a knee at center court right before leaving the court.

The restart of the NBA season in the Disney bubble has been an opportunity for players, coaches and staff to take a stand against racial inequality in the country, with many players wearing slogans on their jerseys and "Black Lives Matter" printed on the court. 

Following the Los Angeles Clippers Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks, coach Doc Rivers also spoke on the shooting of Blake and current state of race relations in the U.S.

Former Microsoft CEO and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer tweeted: "Now is the time to workout a bipartisan national police reform."

Former President Barack Obama tweeted his support for the Bucks, commending coach Doc Rivers, the NBA and the WNBA for setting an example.

CNBC's Scott Wapner and The Associated Press contributed to this report