LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBS4) – The Milwaukee Bucks have elected to boycott Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic, protesting the situation with Jacob Blake, a Black man whose shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the death of George Floyd. The team refused to leave the locker room prior to their game as the Magic warmed up on the court.
The Denver Nuggets have chosen to wear social justice messages on their NBA pregame warmups and on their jerseys, but in a virtual meeting with the media Coach Michael Malone said the team did not discuss boycotting games.
If boycotting a game against the Utah Jazz lead to a forfeit, the Nuggets would be eliminated from contention for the championship. The Nuggets avoided elimination by beating the Utah Jazz 117-107 on Tuesday night in Game 5. The Nuggets trail the sixth-seeded Jazz 3-2 with Game 6 on Thursday.
Coach Michael Malone has been outspoken on finding justice for those involved in fatal police altercations, and has directly referenced the deaths of George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Aurora’s Elijah McClain.
Malone, and the rest of the Denver Nuggets, recently wore shirts reading “Justice for Elijah McClain” during their warmups. They also have been wearing shirts saying Black Lives Matter.
“I am wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. Black Lives Matter is on the courts. But a T-shirt and a slogan on a court is obviously not doing anything to stop the vicious cycle that we’ve seen time and time again,” Malone said on Tuesday.
The Bucks, lead by Defensive Player of the Year and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, will likely have to forfeit their game, taking the series to 3-2, in favor of the Bucks. The Bucks are the No.1 team in the eastern conference.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)