The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The NBA announced shortly after that all of Wednesday's playoff games -- including Game 5 between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and Game 5 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers -- had been postponed.
Lakers superstar LeBron James was among the first NBA players to react on social media, tweeting: "F--- THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT."
Players and teams across the basketball and sports worlds are joining the overwhelming show of support for the Bucks' decision to protest.
NBA players react to the Bucks boycotting Game 5. pic.twitter.com/3FW2WytsU6— ESPN (@espn) August 26, 2020
Players around the league showed support after the Bucks boycotted Game 5. pic.twitter.com/Ak588zSbL1— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 26, 2020
NBA legends show their support of the NBA players' boycott. pic.twitter.com/tOHrFnBtRS— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 27, 2020
I swear its not that hard to understand that WE as human beings just want to be treated equal ... and if u don't understand that then im sorry for your ignorance ...— Mikal Bridges (@mikal_bridges) August 26, 2020
We Demand Change. We so sick of this!!!— Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33) August 26, 2020
We need CHANGE!— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) August 26, 2020
Change can NOT wait!
This Sh*t Needs To Change😠— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) August 26, 2020
If you can watch, cheer, celebrate and share in their pain on the court, you should share in their pain off the court and show empathy for them if you value them as human beings acknowledge that they are hurting! Ask why? They are more than entertainment!— J.B. Bickerstaff (@jbbickerstaff_) August 26, 2020
Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Bucks and son of owner Marc Lasry, echoed his team's message. "I'm incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change," Lasry's tweet read.
Some things are bigger than basketball. The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we're fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I'm incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) August 26, 2020
Jeanie Buss, CEO of the Lakers, who would have attempted to close out the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night in their first-round series, said, "I stand behind our players, today and always."
I was excited to see us play - and hopefully close out our series - tonight. But I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough. #JusticeForJacobBlake #WeHearYou— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) August 26, 2020
The National Basketball Players Association and multiple NBA teams used their platforms to push for justice for Blake and support Black Lives Matter.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted his support for the players and the NBA, specifically commending LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers for his comments Tuesday night on the fight for social and racial justice. Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden applauded the Bucks for their "moral leadership." Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers tweeted that his state will "take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform."
I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It's going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2020
This moment demands moral leadership. And these players answered by standing up, speaking out, and using their platform for good.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 27, 2020
Now is not the time for silence. https://t.co/hF3dIb7Hde
"It is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform."— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) August 27, 2020
I couldn't agree more. Thank you, @Bucks. https://t.co/TvIiVsmuHX
Sports world joins in support of Bucks players and the NBA
After news broke of the Bucks' boycott and the ensuing postponements of Wednesday night's playoff games, teams and athletes across the WNBA, MLB, MLS, NFL and NHL showed support on social media.
Here is a look at how each sport and its players are showing support:
The WNBA postponed all three regular-season games Wednesday night:
Washington Mystics vs. Atlanta Dream
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx
Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury
The Washington Mystics lined up to spell out "Jacob Blake" with shirts featuring seven holes on each of their backs. pic.twitter.com/UeNcRSsZj1— ESPN (@espn) August 26, 2020
Demand justice.— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 27, 2020
Major League Baseball postponed three games Wednesday night:
This is bigger than any sport. Period. The trauma is deeply rooted. As a white man, I will stand right along side Dee, Shed, Taijuan, Shef, Dunn, JP, CJ, KLew, Mallex, Fletch, Art. https://t.co/G8jlDKOVGd— Braden Bishop (@bradenbishop7) August 26, 2020
Glad to be apart of this organization and group of people! Thank you for standing with us always!! https://t.co/kPXNJdAeod— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) August 27, 2020
Tonight I stand with my fellow professional athletes in protest of the injustices my people continue to suffer. I could not play this game I love so much tonight knowing the hurt and anguish my people continue to... https://t.co/nxUt02S64v— Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp) August 26, 2020
Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/YHp6sK0tSZ— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 27, 2020
Major League Soccer postponed five matches Wednesday night:
FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids
Real Salt Lake vs. LAFC
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Inter Miami vs. Atlanta United FC
Inter Miami and Atlanta United stand together in solidarity as they boycott their match tonight. pic.twitter.com/AuJDSbNvQ1— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 27, 2020
The NHL chose to hold a "moment of reflection" prior to Wednesday's playoff games, ESPN's Greg Wyshynski reported. The Tampa Bay Lightning-Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche-Dallas Stars series played as scheduled. Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, who has been a leader among NHL players calling for social justice, was quick to tweet his support.
Major statement by the NBA players 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽 I'm with it!— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) August 26, 2020
Respect to the NBA players for sacrificing their passion & livelihood to demonstrate our anger and frustration! This can't keep going on.— Jamal Adams (@Prez) August 26, 2020
Respect to the @Bucks ✊🏾— Justin Jackson (@J_ManPrime21) August 26, 2020
FED UP. Ain't enough money in world to keep overlooking true issues that effect the mind body & soul of what we do. We cannot be happy for self when our communities are suffering & innocent folk are dying.. since George Floyd, there have been at least 20 other police shootings. https://t.co/UmzuuWP7us— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 26, 2020
Those who have been doing the work understand that it's about the system in place. Yes, we want justice in these cases but we also need systemic change.— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 26, 2020
Naomi Osaka, the No. 10-ranked player in the world, announced that she would not play her semifinal match Thursday at the Western & Southern Open.