The Milwaukee Bucks' bench area remains empty Wednesday inside AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The Bucks didn't take the court for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The NBA has postponed all three games scheduled for Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to boycott Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
In its statement, the league said the three Game 5s -- Bucks-Magic, Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers-Portland Trail Blazers -- would be rescheduled.
"We're tired of the killings and the injustice," Bucks guard George Hill told ESPN.
Milwaukee is about 40 miles north of Kenosha, Wis., the city in which 29-year-old Jacob Blake -- a Black man -- was shot by police Sunday.
Video of the shooting, which was widely distributed on social media, showed officers grabbing Blake by his shirt as he attempted to get into the driver's side of a van with three of his children inside.
An officer fired seven shots at close range into Blake's back as he slumped over the steering wheel, the video showed. He remains in the hospital, and his family said he was paralyzed from the waist down.
The Bucks were set to take on the Magic at 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday at AdventHealth Arena inside the NBA's bubble near Orlando, Fla. Before the game, Milwaukee's players refused to leave the locker room and ultimately decided against playing.
"Today, we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color," the Magic said in a statement Wednesday.
Later, Bucks players issued a statement saying: "The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African-American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.
"Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we've seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protesters. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.
"When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement."
NBA players and coaches were to meet Wednesday night in the Orlando bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort to discuss their next steps. According to ESPN, the league has already scheduled a special board of governors meeting Thursday morning.
The NBA's decision to postpone its playoff games Wednesday led to three MLB postponements. The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds agreed to not play their game, and the Seattle Mariners-San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants matchups were postponed hours before first pitch.
The Brewers held a meeting after the NBA's postponements and decided against playing the Reds on Wednesday night at Miller Park in protest of the police shooting of Blake. The Padres, Dodgers, Giants and Seattle Mariners, who have the most Black players of any team in the Major Leagues, reached similar decisions.
"Enormous stand. It's more than sports," Brewers pitcher Josh Hader told reporters. "It's not about the game -- it's more than that. This is a time where we need to not stay quiet and [to] empower our voices. It's something that we need to continue to talk about."
The WNBA's three games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed as a result of the Bucks' boycott. Five Major League Soccer games set to kick off Wednesday -- including FC Dallas-Colorado Rapids, San Jose-Portland, LAFC-Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders and Atlanta-Miami -- also were postponed.