Basketball, baseball, soccer games postponed amid protests over Jacob Blake shooting

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Thursday, August 27, 2020
Wednesday NBA playoff games postponed amid Jacob Blake shooting boycotts
Players had been discussing boycotting games after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

At least four major sports leagues are postponing games Wednesday amid protests and boycotts surrounding the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The cancellations started with the NBA, when the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play in Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic. Kenosha is located 35 miles south of Milwaukee.

Other teams followed suit and the NBA and the players association announced all three playoff games that had been scheduled for Wednesday would be postponed and rescheduled.

Later in the day, baseball teams that were scheduled to play also decided to walk off the field, including the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds as well as the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The WNBA has also postponed three games that were scheduled for Wednesday.

Then Major League Soccer teams began joining in, with the cancellation of a match between the Los Angeles Football Club and Real Salt Lake.

Tennis player Naomi Osaka also said she won't play in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday.

"Before I am a athlete, I am a black woman," Osaka tweeted. "And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis."

NBA teams and players also met Wednesday night in the Orlando bubble to discuss whether to continue with the season at all.

Sources told ESPN the Lakers and Clippers were among teams voting not to continue with the season, while most other teams supported continuing to play. The vote was described more as a poll than a binding action.

The Bucks are led by the NBA's reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo--- one of the league's biggest stars and an All-Star game captain who just Tuesday was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.

Back in July, Bucks player Sterling Brown spoke out regarding his incident with law enforcement in December 2018. He said he was going into Walgreens and parked on two handicap parking spots. When going back to his car, Brown said law enforcement approached him, asked for his license and shoved him before he was able to show his license.

Brown added that the officer called for backup and six more police cars came. He said multiple officers started punching and kneeing him in an attempt to take him to the ground, with one of the cops tasing him. He also said that once on the ground officers put a knee into his neck and stood on his ankle.

After footage from the officer's body-worn camera was released, the City of Milwaukee offered Brown a $400,000 settlement, which he declined.

Only the Orlando Magic appeared on the court for warm-ups, while the Bucks remained in their locker room. The Magic ultimately left the court with less than four minutes until the game was set to start.

"Some things are bigger than basketball," Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. "The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) 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."

The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder were scheduled to play after the Bucks and Magic, but reports have confirmed they have also boycotted their game. The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers have followed suit and will not play on Wednesday as well.

Wednesday's boycott is happening on the fourth anniversary of Colin Kaepernick's very first protest during the national anthem before an NFL preseason game.

"It's amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back," Clippers coach Doc Rivers made emotional comments about racial justice and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Multiple players who weren't scheduled to play tonight, including Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, voiced their support of the decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.