Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic will not happen on Thursday after Bucks players did not take to the court in a move that’s part of a protest against police brutality and violence. There has been no formal announcement from the team at this time.
The move comes days after police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his children. Blake remains in hospital with his father saying Blake is paralyzed from the waist down — and protesters have taken the the streets demanding answers, not only in this most recent shooting, but protesting wider police violence.
It’s a problem that has directly affected the Bucks. Sterling Brown was brutally beaten by police. John Henson was racially profiled while trying to find out what time a jewelry store closed. Perhaps no team in the NBA has been more directly touched by police violence and racial discrimination than the Bucks have.
Bucks players spoke publicly about the shooting. Guard George Hill said he felt helpless being in Orlando, and wished the team had never gone to Orlando. Kenosha is 35 miles from the Bucks training facility, and players likely would have been at the forefront of protests, had the team been in Wisconsin.
Magic players initially took the court, but left after the Bucks never appeared. High level NBA executives are waiting outside the Milwaukee locker room, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, but have not entered to talk to the team.
We will continue to update this story as details are made available.