Report: Michael Jordan Plays Key Role Between Owners, Players in Protest Talks

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Hornets owner Michael Jordan has played a key role in the talks between NBA players and owners as the league navigates the on-going social justice movement, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. 

The reported talks follow the decision by the Milwaukee Bucks players to protest Wednesday's Game 5 against the Magic. Subsequent NBA games on Wednesday were postponed following the Bucks' decision.

Jordan, the lone Black majority owner in the league, spoke with NBPA president, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, in advance of last night's meeting, in which players discussed how they plan on proceeding with the 2019-20 season. Jordan also reportedly spoke with Rockets guard Russell Westbrook about issues of social justice. 

According to ESPN, the Hornets owner additionally voiced his admiration to current players for taking such a strong stand on social justice issues.

Jordan also reportedly tried to get a better understanding of what players hoped to achieve going forward and reportedly offered assistance to the players as they take part in conversations with owners about the on-going protest efforts. 

Thursday's NBA games were also postponed. However, on Thursday morning, players reportedly voted to resume the 2020 playoffs, which might start Friday or Saturday.

The owners, per ESPN, will meet later Thursday to discuss ways in which they can help the players meet their goals while continuing the season. 

Bucks players issued a statement hours after their decision to sit out of their Game 5 matchup, saying, in part, “We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, 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."

The decision by Bucks players to sit out Wednesday's game has impacted the rest of the sports landscape. 

A number of MLB games have been postponed in protest and the WNBA players are sitting out of Thursday's games for the second consecutive day in what they are calling a "Day of Reflection, a Day of Informed Action and Mobilization."