NBA Players Decide to Resume Basketball Playoffs Starting Friday
(Bloomberg) -- The NBA playoffs are back on, though not right away.
In a meeting within the National Basketball Association’s so-called bubble at Disney World in Florida, players voted to continue the remainder of the playoffs after a night in which they sat out in protest over police shootings and racial inequality, according to a statement from the NBA. Three games will still be postponed Thursday.
President Donald Trump spoke out against the players’ protest on Thursday during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“People are tired of the NBA,” Trump said. “They’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”
Games are expected to resume on Friday. Ultimately players agreed that they didn’t want to give up on a season that required them all to commit to living on a closed campus without their families for an extended period of time.
The decision came after a night never before seen in U.S. sports, when the Milwaukee Bucks skipped Game Five of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
Lakers superstar LeBron James was among the first leading the charge to end the season, according reports from the LA Times. James first sent an expletive filled tweet that ended with “We demand change. Sick of it,” following the news that the Milwaukee Bucks wouldn’t play the game Wednesday night.
The sudden abandonment of a night of the playoffs came after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
That act by NBA teams spread throughout the U.S. sports world. Teams in Major League Baseball, the WNBA and Major League Soccer joined NBA players in solidarity, prompting a spate of cancellations. Following the news that the Milwaukee Bucks wouldn’t play their game Wednesday night.
While the NBA players have voted to continue their season, those in other leagues are continuing to sit out games in a show of solidarity. The NHL is poised to pause play Thursday, according to a report from ESPN. And in Major League Baseball, games between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals and the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics have been postponed, according to Yahoo. The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays were discussing postponing their game, according to the same report.
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