Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff used his new Twitter handle to address the players' decision to boycott playoff games Wednesday in a stand for social justice.
"If you can watch, cheer, celebrate and share in their pain on the court, you should share in their pain off the court and show empathy for them if you value them as human beings acknowledge that they are hurting!" Bickerstaff tweeted. "Ask why? They are more than entertainment!"
Three playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to boycott. Players from the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers soon the Bucks' lead.
The players continued to meet Wednesday night inside a ballroom on the Disney campus. At the time of this post, no decision had been reached.
Bickerstaff became the Cavs coach in February after John Beilein stepped down and moved to another role in the organization. The Cavs went 5-6 under Bickerstaff before the NBA suspended the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bickerstaff received a contract extension prior to the league's hiatus. The Cavs were not among the 22 teams invited to resume the season in Orlando.
The NBA released a statement Wednesday that the playoffs were postponed until further notice, an indication that the league believes the three boycotted playoff games would be made up at a later date.
The players' decision to boycott has garnered support from team owners and coaches alike.
The NBA Board of Governors have scheduled a special meeting for Thursday.
“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.”
During Wednesday's meeting, "players spoke passionately about voting and police reform," according to SI.com's Chris Mannix. "There's a sense from some that if owners don't come up with something that makes them believe staying will help move these important issues forward, this season is done."
Mannix added that Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Bucks wing Kyle Korver, Lakers star LeBron James, and Blazers guard Damian Lillard and forward Carmelo Anthony were among those who spoke at Wednesday's meeting.