UPDATE: The Bucks players released a statement explaining their decision to not play on Wednesday.
The Milwaukee Bucks statement: pic.twitter.com/F7XOPs4NqE— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 26, 2020
UPDATE: Bucks Senior VP and the son of the team owner has tweeted in support of the team’s decision to not 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— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) August 26, 2020
UPDATE: The Bucks are in their locker room right now, trying to get ahold of Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. Magic players are leaving the arena soon, not accepting the Bucks’ forfeit of the game.
Bucks players are in locker room attempting to reach the attorney general of Wisconsin, Josh Kaul, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Magic players are leaving the arena soon -- not accepting the Bucks‘ forfeit.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 26, 2020
Magic C Nikola Vucevic and G Evan Fournier, along with the rest of the Magic, have left the arena and are heading to their hotels. Both players denied comment.
Magic center Nikola Vucevic and guard Evan Fournier decline comment.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) August 26, 2020
Magic G Michael Carter-Williams said the team was unaware of the Bucks’ decision but supported it and stands with them.
Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams: “We weren’t given advanced notice about the decision but we are happy to stand in solidarity with Milwaukee, Jacob, and the entire NBA community. Change is coming.”— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 26, 2020
UPDATE: The Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to boycott Game 5, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
The Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic have yet to take the court for Game 5 of their first-round series in the NBA bubble in Orlando. Players on the Bucks are in serious discussions about boycotting the game as a result of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin a few days ago.
Here’s a video from the bubble via Taylor Rooks of Turner Sports with no players on the court.
Clock is at 0:00 —- Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks are not on the court. pic.twitter.com/qAjoXDWCom— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) August 26, 2020
Here’s a video from Malika Andrews of ESPN of game balls being put away in the hallway. Would not appear like this Game 5 is going to happen.
Game balls are being put away, as the Bucks decide to boycott game 5 against the Magic. pic.twitter.com/Cy32q2CJH7— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 26, 2020
Bucks G George Hill had this to say to The Undefeated about the players protesting Game 5.
Bucks guard George Hill says to @TheUndefeated his team is not playing against Orlando tonight in light of shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc. “We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Hill to @TheUndefeated.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) August 26, 2020
San Antonio Spurs G DeMar DeRozan and Nuggets G Jamal Murray were among players to show support for the Bucks in their protest. Players around the League continue to tweet their thoughts on social media.
WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) August 26, 2020
Shoot Hoops, Not People. pic.twitter.com/loHk0XJsvo— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 26, 2020
The Bucks have been victims to social injustice in Milwaukee. Sterling Brown was tasered by MPD in an incident in the past. John Henson, a former Bucks PF, got the police called on him when visiting a jewelry store after signing a $44 million contract.
Thinking of John Henson today, too, who had the police called on him when he was visiting a jewelry store right after signing a 4-year, $44 million contract with the Bucks. https://t.co/4aGwCpNiw7 https://t.co/g49ijFpGyJ— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) August 26, 2020
It was first reported by ESPN on Tuesday that the Raptors and Celtics had discussed the idea of boycotting Game 1 of their second-round series after the shooting. More meetings have taken place since then, including one with members of the NBA Players Association, about sitting out until something is done about the social injustice and unrest in the U.S. There were reports that players are very emotionally distressed after the shooting. Raptors coach Nick Nurse even commented that some players have talked about leaving the playoffs and going home.
For some historical context, we haven’t really seen anything like this in the NBA before. Players came close to protesting a game after the Los Angeles Clippers staged a silent protest against then owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life back in 2014 after his racist remarks were surfaced toward Magic Johnson.