NBA Postpones Wednesday Games After Bucks Refuse to Play
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The Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor for their scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday as a protest against a police shooting this week in Wisconsin. The NBA announced shortly thereafter that it was postponing all of its playoff games scheduled Wednesday.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot a Black man named Jacob Blake in the back seven times as he tried to get into the driver's side of his car with his three children inside on Sunday. Video of the shooting went viral on social media and subsequent protests broke out in Kenosha.
As news of Wednesday's NBA postponements spread, the WNBA also decided to postpone all three of its games and MLB and MLS also had some games postponed.
NBA Ramifications Going Forward
NBA betting lines for Wednesday’s first-round playoff games were taken down from leading sportsbooks. The games scheduled for Wednesday were Game 5 in the Magic-Bucks Eastern Conference series and two Game 5s in the West, Thunder-Rockets and Lakers-Trail Blazers.
BetMGM posted a tweet saying that it would “void and refund all bets on impacted markets” that had been placed on Wednesday’s games:
A statement at NBA.com, posted minutes after the games were postponed, said that all three of Wednesday’s games would be rescheduled.
Milwaukee players refused to take the court for their game against Orlando, which was supposed to tip off at 4 p.m. The Magic players took the court for warmups before the decision to postpone the game was announced.
According to various reports, NBA players in the bubble in Orlando met late Wednesday, where the Lakers and Clippers voted to stop the season. The other teams voted to continue, according to reports.
ESPN also reported that the NBA scheduled a Board of Governors meeting for Thursday morning. And the Raptors and Celtics were reportedly discussing whether to call off Thursday’s scheduled Game 1 of their East semifinal series between the teams. That game was still up on the odds board at some sportsbooks as of Wednesday night.
MLB, WNBA, MLS Games Postponed Too
The Reds have agreed not to play as well. No forfeit situation. Both teams have agreed to sit out tonight’s game. https://t.co/BZJAg8GujJ— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) August 26, 2020
There were three Major League Baseball games and three WNBA games postponed as a nod to social issues. The Milwaukee Brewers decided to boycott their Wednesday game against the Cincinnati Reds in the wake of the Bucks' decision. MLB.com Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy reported that the Brewers made their decision about three hours before their game was slated to start. The Reds agreed, according to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported early Wednesday evening that the Seattle Mariners had also decided to sit out, postponing their scheduled game against the Padres in San Diego. The Mariners had 10 Black players on their opening-day roster, the most in MLB, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Finally, the Dodgers and Giants agreed to put off their game as well.
CBS Sports reported that all other games scheduled Wednesday would be taking place (apart from Angels at Astros, called off because the Houston area is preparing for a hurricane).
The WNBA also postponed its three scheduled games inside the league's bubble in Bradenton, Florida. The games called off were Washington vs. Atlanta, Los Angeles vs. Minnesota and Phoenix vs. Connecticut.
And in Major League Soccer, five of the six scheduled games were postponed: Inter Miami at Atlanta, Dallas at Colorado, Real Salt Lake at LAFC, San Jose at Portland and the L.A. Galaxy at Seattle. Only Nashville at Orlando -- ironically, in the city where the NBA playoff bubble ground to a halt on Wednesday -- went on as scheduled.
Former U.S. Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka announced that she would play her semifinal at the Western and Southern Open on Friday, after initially saying Wednesday that she would withdraw to protest racial injustice. Tournament organizers then announced they would suspend play on Thursday and resume on Friday, a move which satisfied Osaka, whose father is Haitian and mother is Japanese. She will face Elise Mertens in the semifinals after consulting with the WTA and USTA.