After three days off, the NBA 2020 play-off was back on Saturday, before the Milwaukee Bucks met Orlando Magic. These matches were scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, but were postponed after the Bucks decided not to play on Wednesday afternoon following the shooting of a man named Jacob Blake by police. Many teams in other sports around the sports world have acted similarly. So what will happen to the NBA this season and beyond?
After a season pause due to the Covid-19 epidemic on March 11, the NBA took months to arrange a return to play. In the plan there are ideas to bring 22 teams to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in early July to gather, 8 seed matches and 4 standard play-offs. The tournament was successful with the first round of the post-season, while the Covid-19 test results were not positive.
There have been many cases of unfair police conduct against black Americans in the past and there has been a growing discussion surrounding racism. Athletes and federations have agreed to make social justice a key part of the reboot process. During the national anthem, for example, athletes kneel on the field with the words “Black Lives Matter” written on the hardwood floor. They also regularly use their inbuilt media to promote racial equity.
Then things got more tense after police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot seven times at Blake, a 29-year-old black man on Sunday, which paralyzed him. Led by Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet, a number of athletes began to talk about the possibility of not playing.
All was surprised, though, by Wednesday’s decision by Bucks not to play before Game 5 of the play-off series against Orlando Magic. Very quickly, players from the other two-match teams that day – the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers – all followed the Bucks.