The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics will meet again on Wednesday night to discuss the potential of boycotting playoff games in the wake of yet another police shooting, according to Marc Spears of ESPN.
The Milwaukee Bucks led a strike before Game 5 against the Orlando Magic. Bucks players stayed in the locker room until after the game started and made the decision without announcement nor warning. Many players, including LeBron James, around the NBA have shown their support, and it’s likely that others will follow.
All NBA games originally scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed.
The NBA and the NBPA today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.— NBA (@NBA) August 26, 2020
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse confirmed in a conference call that Wednesday’s meeting between the two teams will be for players only and said that some players have even discussed the idea of going home altogether. Toronto is scheduled to play Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday at 6:30 pm ET.
“Boycotting the game has come up to them to demand a little more attention,” Nurse said.
The NBA has been pushing for reform and demanding justice since returning to play, but some players now are questioning if their efforts have made any tangible difference after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by police in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake’s father says his son is now paralyzed from the waist down. The traumatizing and graphic video of the incident has been on the minds of many players and coaches.
“For us, we just wanted to make a difference, make a change, and seeing that it feels like things are the same. It makes you question if you made a good decision (to play). For me, it just hurts, it hurts to see that and like I said I didn’t want to watch the video,” Pascal Siakam said.
“We came here for a reason, wanting to use our platform to send a message and hopefully bring awareness, bring change, but I don’t know it feels like we’re stuck, it feels like we’re stuck, it feels like things are not changing and we’re not doing anything productive.”
Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell spoke on Tuesday about the shootings and raised the need for further action from the players and the NBA at large. Their current efforts to raise awareness isn’t producing changes, hence the discussion to escalate towards a potential boycott.
“There’s things way bigger than basketball going on. You want to be able to play, at the end of the day we know basketball brings something to people. At the same time, just seeing that happen every day, it’s tough and it hurts,” Siakam said.
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