NBA players voted to resume the playoffs Thursday morning after boycotts across the sports world took place Wednesday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, the country has been in a constant state of social unrest. Since then, however, many more unarmed African American men and women have been killed or fatally injured. After the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 23, NBA players had enough.
Raptors guard Fred Vanvleet was the first to openly voice the chance of boycotting the rest of the NBA season.
“This situation we’re watching does not have to be happening. Point, blank, period – there’s no reason for it other than hatred and systematic racism that is engrained in our culture and our society and our people… Scary is the word I would use.”Fred Vanvleet, via Sports Illustrated
On Wednesday, several other players reacted to the shooting. LeBron James tweeted, “F*CK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT”. Several boycotts took place in the sports world on Wednesday, including the three NBA playoff games. The NBPA voted to boycott games indefinitely, discussing whether it was really necessary to play in these games.
The Bucks, led by George Hill and Sterling Brown, made a statement after not showing up for warm-ups ahead of game 5 against the Magic: “Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball. When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.”
Players held a meeting Thursday morning to resume the playoffs. Players hope to return to the floor by Friday and the latest Saturday.