After refusing to play, and forcing the entire world to focus its attention on Sunday’s police shooting of Jacob Blake instead, NBA players have reversed course and now agree to resume the NBA playoffs.
On Wednesday, The Root reported that something unprecedented occurred: fed up with the mistreatment of Black people in America, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court against the Orlando Magic in their Game 5 series of the NBA playoffs.
This jumpstarted a trickle-down effect, in which players from the remaining teams scheduled to play on Wednesday followed suit in solidarity, with teams in various other leagues, such as the WNBA, MLB and MLS, opting to do the same.
However, ESPN reports that nearly 24 hours removed from such an unprecedented decision, NBA players will now reverse course and proceed with the NBA playoffs. Thursday’s three playoff games will remain postponed, but the league is expected to resume play on 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,” NBA executive vice president Mike Bass said in a statement.
Per ESPN, those next steps will entail “formulating action plans to address racial injustice issues and iron out details of restarting the playoffs.”
In the coming days, it will be interesting to learn why the players decided to resume play so quickly, but in the interval, I’m proud of these men for taking a stand against systemic oppression, police brutality and racialized violence.