- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prompted all three of Wednesday’s scheduled NBA playoff games to be canceled.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who represent the area of the shooting, got the ball rolling by refusing to play their game against the Orlando Magic.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the boycott, writing Wednesday afternoon on Twitter that “The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5, source tells ESPN.”

Neither the Bucks nor the Orlando Magic were on the floor as the scheduled game time came, according to reporters at the scene. The Magic were on the floor for the customary pre-game shoot-around, but left when the Bucks didn’t show up at the scheduled 4 p.m. start time.

Mr. Wojnarowski earlier reported that there had been discussion among players about refusing to play over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. He said league officials entered the Bucks locker room in the playoff “bubble” in Orlando after they did not appear on the court.



Then the boycott snowball took over.

Barely more than an hour after the scheduled Bucks-Magic tipoff time, the two other NBA playoff games set for Wednesday — the Oklahoma City Thunder versus the Houston Rockets at 6:30 p.m., and the Portland Trail Blazers versus the Los Angeles Lakers at 9 p.m. — also had been canceled.

The Bucks’ ownership said it stood behind the players’ refusal to play.

“Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change,” wrote Bucks Senior Vice President Alexander Lasry.

State Rep. Charles Booker of Kentucky applauded the boycott, saying “I salute the Milwaukee Bucks. Business as usual is absolutely not an option.”

Clay Travis of Fox Sports Radio suggested that this move would only hurt the league, which already had given considerable time and space over to left-leaning protest movements.

“NBA players are now boycotting their own games. The NBA audience had already collapsed and now it will tank even more. This is get woke, go broke for all the world to see. Amazing,” he wrote on Twitter.

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