'F*** this': Historic protest stuns basketball world
The Milwaukee Bucks have made a powerful stance by opting not to step foot on the floor game five of their first round playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
Players remained in the locker room as the Magic warmed up with the team reportedly wanting to play before they also returned to the locker room.
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ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the news the Bucks players would not be playing the scheduled game of the series in protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
"The Bucks players made this decision in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, ultimately deciding that they wouldn't leave the locker room for the start of Game 5 against Orlando," Wojnarowski tweeted.
Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill said the players are sick of the killing of innocent black men and women.
"We're tired of the killings and the injustice," Hill told The Undefeated.
We just witnessed one of the most historic and groundbreaking moments in sports history for fighting for social justice with the Bucks boycotting the game.— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) August 26, 2020
Blake was shot in the back seven times at close range by police officers after breaking up a fight between two women.
Miraculously Blake survived but was later confirmed to be paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting rocked America and led to widespread protests, following in the wake of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor deaths.
"We're not coming out for awhile. There will be a team statement," Bucks General Manager Jon Horst said.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers games also won't go ahead.
Decision made. Thunder and Rockets are boycotting Game 5, sources said. https://t.co/SCNAjsQYea— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 26, 2020
The NBA announced in a statement the three games would be rescheduled.
NBA players have used their platforms throughout the entirety of their time inside the Orlando bubble to demand justice for those who shot and killed Taylor while demanding equality.
Players and teams threw their support behind the Bucks' move not to take the floor in protest of the recent shooting. A move that could spell the end of the playoffs.
"F*** this man! We demand change. Sick of it," LeBron James tweeted.
"For those who don't understand what going on, it will always be bigger than basketball! We demand change!!! We demand justice! Have a blessed day," Warriors guard Eric Paschall wrote.
"We demand justice," Denver's Jamal Murray tweeted.
"We demand change! Salute @Bucks," Utah's Donovan Mitchell tweeted.
"This sh*t bigger than basketball! Whoever don't understand that is part of the problem," DeMar DeRozan wrote.
Originally published as Historic protest stuns basketball world
✊🏽— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) August 26, 2020
respect ✊🏽— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) August 26, 2020