By Shereen Siewert
The Milwaukee Bucks have boycotted Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man shot seven times by police officers in Kenosha.
The shooting happened Sunday. Blake survived the shooting but is paralyzed, according to a statement his father made to the Associated Press.
The Bucks were slated to play the Magic at 4 p.m. in the first-round series game, but they never appeared on the court. The Magic exited the court with about four minutes remaining until tip off.
Only the referees remained on the court at game time.
In a Twitter post Wednesday afternoon ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski cited sources confirming the Bucks opted to boycott the game. ESPN is reporting that the team had “some discussion” about boycotting the game in the run up to Wednesday afternoon’s events.
Bucks guard George Hill earlier this week called for change and questioned whether NBA teams should have come to the “bubble” in the midst of the social justice movement.
“This world has to change,” Hill said. “The police department has to change. Us as a society have to change. Right now we’re not seeing any of that.”
On Wednesday, Hill walked out of the locker room in a shirt that says “Change the Narrative.”
Following the boycott, the NBA postponed multiple games, affecting first-round games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, and between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. NBA officials say the games, including Wednesday’s matchup between Milwaukee and Orlando, will be rescheduled.
The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have also discussed boycotting Game 1 of their second-round series, which is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.