Bucks, four other NBA teams refuse to play in protest; league postpones 3 games

The players are protesting Sunday's shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Referees huddle on an empty court at game time of the scheduled Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Kevin C. Cox / Pool Photo via AP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — NBA players made their strongest statement yet against racial injustice Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Shortly after, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets announced they would boycott their Wednesday games. The NBA then postponed all three playoff games scheduled for Wednesday.

The Bucks and Magic were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with Milwaukee needing a win to advance to the second round.

Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More discussions were expected Wednesday, but even before that the Bucks apparently they would act.

Magic player and referees were on the floor for the game but Milwaukee never took the floor. Eventually everyone else left and the arena staff soon took the balls, towels and tags that go on player chairs back inside.

Former UNC standout and Hornets forward Marvin Williams, who was waived by Charlotte and then signed with Milwaukee, is one of four players on the Bucks who is wearing “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his jersey during the NBA’s return to play in the Florida bubble.