NBA players have decided to continue the rest of the postseason after forcing the postponement of a slate of playoff games in a protest against racial injustice and police brutality, U.S. media reported on Thursday.
The police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in the Wisconsin town of Kenosha has triggered days of violent protests and riled U.S. professional sports.
The NBA postponed all three playoff games that had been scheduled on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic.
The Bucks players said in a statement on Wednesday they were unable to focus on basketball due to the events in Kenosha, which is located about 40 miles (60 km) south of Milwaukee.
ESPN and the Washington Post reported that NBA players have decided to resume the playoffs after meeting among themselves in the bubble-like campus at Disney World in Florida, where the games are being played due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Post reported that players from the 13 teams still in the playoffs met on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The NBA Board of Governors held an emergency meeting on Thursday.
The league has postponed the three playoff games scheduled for Thursday, ESPN reported.
Since the NBA restarted its pandemic-interrupted season, courts have had the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on them and many players have worn jerseys with social justice slogans. NBA referees marched on Thursday around the Disney campus in support of the players, wearing black T-shirts with messages like “Everybody vs. Racism” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the Women’s NBA also postponed games on Wednesday, while two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of a tournament after reaching the semifinals in support of the protests.