The Milwaukee Bucks have walked out of Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, ESPN reports. Blake was shot multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sunday night, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down; according to witnesses, he was unarmed, and had been attempting to de-escalate a fight. The shooting has sparked large protests in the city, which is located 45 minutes south of Milwaukee, and on Tuesday night, two people were shot and killed by what appears to have been an armed counterprotester. (An Illinois teenager has been arrested for the killings.)
The Bucks currently lead the series 3-1. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the NBA’s operations manual stipulates that teams that fail to appear forfeit the game and must pay a fine of up to $5 million. However, enforcement appears to be up to the NBA’s discretion. The NBA has officially postponed all three games scheduled for August 26, after the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers, and Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly planned to strike their games as well. Elsewhere in the NBA bubble, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have also discussed the possibility of boycotting their second-round series.
Update, Wednesday, August 26, 11:00 p.m.: The Lakers and the Clippers reportedly voted to suspend their NBA seasons, according to NBA reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, every other NBA team currently in the bubble voted to continue on with the season, and that there was some “frustration” with the Milwaukee Bucks decision to boycott their game this evening in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.