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George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
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Milwaukee Bucks Players Issue Statement After Game Five Protest

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Milwaukee Bucks players issued a statement after their decision to boycott game five of their opening-round series against the Orlando Magic. As the pregame countdown clock sounded, both teams sat in their locker room while game officials looked on. Within the hour, the remainder of the NBA’s scheduled games were postponed.

The Bucks are protesting in light of Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, at the hands of Wisconsin police.

Bucks guard George Hill and Sterling Brown issued the statement after the team spent more than three hours in their locker room on the phone with the Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Milwaukee Bucks Statement

“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American community,” Brown read. “Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.

“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protesters. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So, our focus today cannot be on basketball.

“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort, and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from lawmakers and law enforcement.

“We’re calling for justice for Jacob Blake, and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin state legislators to reconvene after months of inaction, and take the meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on November 3.”

NBA Player Association Supports Bucks

The NBA Players Association voiced their support for the Bucks protest. Michele Roberts, the NBPA Executive Director issued this comment on Twitter.

“Throughout the season restart, our players have been unwavering in their demands for systemic justice. This week we witnessed another horrific, shocking and all too familiar act of brutality in the shoot of 29 year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Players have, once, again made it clear – they will not be silent on this issue. We stand with teh decision of the players of the Milwaukee Bucks to protest this injustice and support the collective decision to postpone all of today’s games.”