Game 1 between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics on Thursday has been postponed, but the playoffs will reportedly continue.
It has been an emotionally tough couple of days in the NBA in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake and as a result, as per TSN, Game 1 of the second round playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics has been postponed.
The Milwaukee Bucks led a number of teams in boycotting play when they opted to sit out Game 5 of their best-of-seven series against the Orlando Magic.
Blake, a 29-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot in the back seven times by officers on Sunday. His father told the Chicago Sun-Times that Blake is paralyzed from the waist down.
The Raptors and Celtics met on Tuesday night to discuss actions the teams could take to shed light on police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men and women. “Source from both teams says everything is on the table,” according to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears.
Many NBA players have expressed that the latest events have taken a mental toll on them, with some saying they have not been in the right frame of mind after everything that has gone on.
This then prompted a meeting with the NBAPA where players held an informal poll on the future of the season, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers reportedly voting to not continue with the season.
As per TSN, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday morning that the players eventually decided to continue the playoffs, with discussions underway as to when play will resume. Regardless, the potential of boycotts in the NBA is not unprecedented.
In 2014, players on the Clippers threatened to boycott if action wasn’t taken against owner Donald Sterling, who made racist comments towards African-Americans. Commissioner Adam Silver swiftly banned Sterling for life and forced a sale of the team.
The Toronto Raptors have also had their experience with alleged racism directed towards members of their organization. Recently, disturbing footage came out regarding the interaction between Raptors President Masai Ujiri and Alan Strickland, a police officer providing security at Game 6 of the NBA Finals last year.
Strickland repeatedly shoved Ujiri as he tried to enter the court and celebrate with his team, and later alleged the GM had caused him injuries to his “head, body and nervous system.” Ujiri is countersuing.
Who knows what the rest of this season holds, but with any luck, the boycotting of games will jumpstart real change, so that nobody has to feel scared in their own skin.