NBA players voted to resume the playoffs on Friday.
In the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, protests sprang up across the major sports leagues. The biggest surprise occurred on Wednesday, when the Milwaukee Bucks decided to go on strike for their Game 5 playoffs matchup against the Orlando Magic. The league’s other four teams scheduled to play also decided not to play. After multiple meetings regarding a plan of action, the league will reportedly resume scheduled games on Friday.
Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! For my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids and communities across the country, it’s on US to make a difference. Together. That’s why your vote is @morethanavote ✊🏾 #BlackLivesMatter
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 27, 2020
The NBA’s players have decided to resume the playoffs, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
ESPN Senior Insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Thursday morning. According to at least one source, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James had a change of heart, opting that it was in the players’ best interest to continue the playoffs after all.
Yahoo Sources: There was a change in position from last night with LeBron James, among others, relaying it was in their best interest to finish out the season.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 27, 2020
The Athletic senior analyst Shams Charania previously reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers voted to sit out the rest of the season.
Sources: The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season. Most other teams voted to continue. LeBron James has exited the meeting.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
The strike was the first NBA work stoppage since the lockout in 2011. However, lockouts are fueled by the owners, not the players. In 1964, NBA All-Stars staged a strike before tipoff in protests of poor working conditions for all players. However short this strike was, the events were pretty much unprecedented.
The NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS all postponed games amidst protests among players. Players from the six WNBA teams scheduled to play on Wednesday locked arms while wearing T-shirts that spelled Blake’s name. TNT commentator Kenny Smith walked off the studio set in a show of solidarity with the players.
17-year-old Illinois native Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested after allegedly shooting three people in protests surrounding the Jacob Blake shooting.