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NBA players vote to continue playoff season

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Miami, United States   /   Fri, August 28, 2020   /   09:55 am
NBA players vote to continue playoff season 			An empty court and bench is shown following the scheduled start time in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Milwaukee Buck have boycotted game 5 reportedly to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters/Kevin C. Cox)

NBA players voted to resume the post-season on Thursday, a day after a boycott by the Milwaukee Bucks forced the league to halt the playoffs and left the campaign hanging in the balance, reports said.

ESPN and The Athletic website said players attending a meeting in Orlando had agreed to press on with the season, although games scheduled for Thursday would be postponed.

The decision followed a day of tumult in the NBA on Wednesday, when the Bucks refused to play their first-round game against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

The NBA later postponed the entire slate of Wednesday fixtures following the Bucks' no-show.

At a players meeting late on Wednesday, the powerhouse Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted to abandon the season. 

The Lakers' LeBron James and Clippers star Kawhi Leonard both spoke in favor of ending the playoffs.

However, The Athletic reported that the Lakers and Clippers had changed course at Thursday's meeting, with the two teams said to be "on board" with a resumption.

James had on Wednesday tweeted angrily over the shooting of Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by police as he got into a car containing his three children.

"WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT," James wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday, James renewed calls for action against racial inequality and social injustice.

"Change doesn't happen with just talk!! It happens with action and needs to happen NOW!" James wrote on Twitter, urging people to vote in upcoming US elections.

Calls for racial equality have reverberated across basketball in the months since the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May.

The NBA's coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in a "bubble" in Orlando against the backdrop of nationwide protests following Floyd's death.

NBA teams have knelt in protest during the pre-match playing of the US national anthem, while the words "Black Lives Matter" have been painted onto each court staging games in Florida.

Players, many of whom took part in protests against Floyd's killing, have been allowed to wear jerseys bearing social justice messages.

Wednesday's boycott by Bucks players was backed by the NBA's Coaches Association.

"The NBA Coaches support our players 100%," the coaches association said. 

"The baseless shootings of Jacob Blake and other black men and women by law enforcement underscores the need for action. Not after the playoffs, not in the future, but now."