▶ Watch Video: NBA postpones playoff games after Milwaukee Bucks boycott

The NBA said Thursday it is “hopeful” the league will resume the 2020 playoffs after Milwaukee Bucks players decided to sit out Game 5 against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The decision resonated throughout the world of sports, with MLB, WNBA and MLS teams following suit.

The three games scheduled for Thursday — Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks have been canceled, the league said.

“We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday. There is a video conference call meeting scheduled later this afternoon between a group of NBA players and team governors representing the 13 teams in Orlando, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office and NBA Labor Relations Committee Chairman Michael Jordan, to discuss next steps.”

The NBA on Wednesday said three games — the Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers — would be rescheduled at a later date. 

Hours after the game was postponed, Bucks players delivered a statement: “Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake, and demand the officers be held accountable,” the statement continued. “For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action and remember to vote on November 3.”

From Blake’s family attorney, Ben Crump, to former President Barack Obama, the athletes were praised for their actions, which created a ripple effect across professional sports leagues. 

The WNBA opted to not play any games on Wednesday and Thursday. The Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds decided not to play their respective games. Five Major League Soccer matches were also postponed. Tennis organizers paused play at the Cincinnati Open on Thursday after star Naomi Osaka said she would skip her semi-final match

The reaction from the sports world comes days after the shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times as he leaned into his SUV by an officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his three children inside. Crump said Tuesday that Blake is paralyzed and is “struggling to sustain his life.”

Jordan Freiman contributed. 

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