Bucks co-owners support boycott as players decide next steps
The Milwaukee Bucks co-owners and players each released separate statements Wednesday after the Bucks became the first team to boycott a playoff game on the Disney campus.
All games are postponed until further notice.
No matter, the Bucks co-owners said the players have their full support in the boycott, aimed at bringing more awareness to social justice and racial issues.
“Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them,” Bucks co-owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said. “The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”
The Bucks were scheduled to face the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,” Bucks guard George Hill told reporters. “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.”
Playoff games between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, were also postponed following player boycotts.
A source told SI.com that the defending champion Toronto Raptors, and perhaps several other teams, are considering altogether leaving the Orlando bubble in protest.
Players reportedly were meeting Wednesday night to discuss and ultimately determine next steps.