(CNN)NBA players have decided to resume the playoffs, according to multiple reports.
Still, the league said three playoff games were postponed on Thursday — as athletes across the US sports landscape joined in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by refusing to play scheduled games or practice for a second consecutive day. “We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday,” the National Basketball Association said.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the NBA players’ decision to return to the postseason. The postponements come after a historic day for professional sports, with athletes banding together to stand against racial injustice following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Read MoreA video conference call “to discuss next steps” was to be held Thursday between “a group of NBA players and team governors representing the 13 teams in Orlando, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office and NBA Labor Relations Committee Chairman Michael Jordan,” according to the statement.CNN has sought comment from the players’ union.
Trumps says player protests not good for sports or country
President Trump likened the NBA to a “political organization” and slammed its “very bad” ratings when asked about the players’ historic protests. “I don’t know much about the NBA protests,” Trump told reporters during a hurricane briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly.”Trump added, “They’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told CNN that Trump has failed to “acknowledge a lot of these men and women have had brothers, sisters, husbands, wives who have been victimized just because of their color.””The vast majority of the American people are ready to deal with systemic racism,” Biden added. “And all this administration does is keep pouring gasoline on the fire.”Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James called for action against racial injustice.”Change doesn’t happen with just talk!!” he wrote on Twitter. “It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! For my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids and communities across the country, it’s on US to make a difference. Together. That’s why your vote is @morethanavote #BlackLivesMatter.”Three NBA playoff games were postponed Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor against the Orlando Magic as players took a stand with their Bucks counterparts. Three WNBA, five Major League Soccer and three Major League Baseball games were also postponed that same day. Seven more MLB games Thursday were postponed.Naomi Osaka said Wednesday she wouldn’t play in her semifinal match Thursday at the Western & Southern Open. After her announcement, the tournament paused play for Thursday; it will resume on Friday, and Osaka is scheduled to play.And following the postponement of its opening series against the Portland Trail Blazers, players from the Los Angeles Lakers — as well as its city counterparts the Los Angeles Clippers — voted to boycott the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Shams Charania, who is with both The Athletic and Stadium.A WNBA statement said three Thursday games — Chicago Sky against Indiana Fever, Dallas Wings versus New York Liberty, and Las Vegas Aces against Seattle Storm — were postponed as “players continue discussions and reflection on recent events.”There was no immediate rescheduling information, but players are expected to take the court Friday.”This is not a strike. This is not a boycott. This is affirmatively a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization,” Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) president and Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike told ESPN.Elizabeth Williams, an Atlanta Dream star and WNBPA secretary, told CNN Thursday that players were focused on social justice since the beginning of the season.”We were in a unique position having so many televised games that we would be able to show our activism,” she said.
NHL postpones four playoff games
The National Hockey League, which came under fire for playing a day earlier, on Thursday announced that it was postponing four playoff games.Thursday’s Philadelphia Flyers game against the New York Islanders and the Vegas Golden Knights’ game against the Vancouver Canucks were called off. So were Friday night’s games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars.
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standWearing the name of Jacob Blake on his helmet, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders runs a drill Thursday during his team’s NFL football training camp practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La.Hide Caption 1 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standNaomi Osaka, of Japan, wears a Black Lives Matter shirt at her semifinal match Friday at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in New York.Hide Caption 2 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMiami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson walks off the field Thursday after placing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on home plate in New York. The Marlins and New York Mets jointly walked off the field after a moment of silence as they chose not to play their scheduled baseball game. Hide Caption 3 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standThe Washington Mystics pay tribute to Jacob Blake after their WNBA game was postponed in Palmetto, Florida, on August 26.Hide Caption 4 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standA grounds crew covers the field at San Francisco’s Oracle Park after a Major League Baseball game was postponed on August 26.Hide Caption 5 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standThe Milwaukee Bucks make a statement to the media after boycotting a playoff game on August 26.Hide Caption 6 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standNBA superstar LeBron James has been one of the most outspoken athletes in recent months. “Having two boys of my own and me being African American in America and to see what continues to happen with the police brutality towards my kind, continue to see what goes on with just the (unjust), it’s very troubling. It’s very troubling,” James told Turner Sports’ Jared Greenberg. “My prayers go to (the Blake) family, and hopefully we can have some change.” Hide Caption 7 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standDuring a practice round for the BMW Championship, pro golfer Cameron Champ used his shoes to show his support for Blake and the Black Lives Matter movement.Hide Caption 8 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standDoc Rivers, head coach of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, became emotional while talking about the Blake shooting and the Republican National Convention. “All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said. “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones who were denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot.”Hide Caption 9 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a stand”End racism” banners are shown in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena before an NHL playoff game on August 26.Hide Caption 10 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standDetroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers addresses the media with his teammates outside their practice facility on August 25. The Lions canceled their practice in light of the Blake shooting, and they discussed the incident in a team meeting that lasted hours. “We’re going to spread our message; we’re going to do it as a team,” Flowers said. “We understand that somebody’s going to try to skew the narrative … get the message lost, but we’re going to stay focused on the topic.”Hide Caption 11 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standA Real Salt Lake fan sits in the stands after the Major League Soccer team had its game postponed on August 26.Hide Caption 12 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standNASCAR driver Bubba Wallace tweeted this selfie before a Cup Series race in Talladega, Alabama, on June 22. Fellow drivers and pit crew members walked alongside Wallace’s car to show their support for him. Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hide Caption 13 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMembers of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks gather in solidarity Thursday after announcement to reschedule playoff games in Edmonton, Alberta.Hide Caption 14 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standThe Black Lives Matter protests haven’t been limited to just North America. Here, professional soccer players from Aston Villa and Sheffield United take a knee as their match kicked off in Birmingham, England, on June 17. Premier League teams sported the words “Black Lives Matter” on the back of their jerseys when their seasons resumed.Hide Caption 15 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standFormula One champion Lewis Hamilton raises his fist before a race in Northampton, England, on August 9.Hide Caption 16 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMatt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild kneels during the US National Anthem as it is played before an NHL game in Edmonton, Alberta, on August 1. Dumba, a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, gave a short speech before kneeling. He is circled by members of the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks, who were about to play on the first day of the NHL’s return.Hide Caption 17 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standSoccer players from PSG and Lyon take a knee before a Champions League semifinal in Bilbao, Spain, on August 26.Hide Caption 18 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standBeach volleyball player April Ross wears a temporary Black Lives Matter tattoo during a match in Long Beach, California, on July 19.Hide Caption 19 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standTennis players Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund join match umpire James Keothavong in taking a knee in London on June 28.Hide Caption 20 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standCricketers with the Kent Spitfires take a knee during a match in Canterbury, England.Hide Caption 21 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standFormula One driver Kimi Raikkonen wears an “end racism” shirt before a race in Barcelona, Spain, on August 16.Hide Caption 22 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMembers of the Trinbago Knight Riders kneel before a cricket match in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.Hide Caption 23 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standThe Washington Nationals observe a moment of silence before Major League Baseball’s opening game on July 23. Their opponents, The New York Yankees, also took a knee, and the initials BLM were on the pitcher’s mound for the game.Hide Caption 24 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMajor League Soccer players participate in a pregame ceremony before the league’s restart on July 8.Hide Caption 25 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standHouston Dynamo goalkeeper Cody Cropper warms up in a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on August 25.Hide Caption 26 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standThe Boston Red Sox Foundation put this sign behind Fenway Park’s famous “Green Monster” outfield wall.Hide Caption 27 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standRugby players from Bath and Northampton show their support before a game in Northampton, England.Hide Caption 28 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standKansas City outfielder Jorge Soler catches a ball in front of a George Floyd sign in Minneapolis on August 15.Hide Caption 29 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standA Houston Dash player wears a Black Lives Matter armband before a NWSL match in Herriman, Utah, on July 17.Hide Caption 30 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standAfter winning the Champions League, Bayern Munich defender David Alaba wears a shirt that says “Black Lives Still Matter.”Hide Caption 31 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standA Black Lives Matter sign is seen during a Major League Soccer match in Harrison, New Jersey, on August 24.Hide Caption 32 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMembers of the San Antonio Spurs huddle before a game against Sacramento on July 31.Hide Caption 33 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standKilmarnock manager Alex Dyer, second from right, takes a knee before a soccer match in Glasgow, Scotland.Hide Caption 34 of 35
Photos: The sports world has been taking a standMembers of the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets kneel during the National Anthem before the start of an NBA game on July 31.Hide Caption 35 of 35
In the NFL, several teams canceled practice Thursday to focus on conversations about race. The season begins September 10.The Denver Broncos joined the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Football Team and New York Jets in forgoing practice to allow players to weigh in on what they can do to effect change.”Friday we can return to football…” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “In place of our practice at FedEx Field, the players, coaches and football staff will meet as a football family and we will continue our open dialogue on the issues of racism and social injustice in our country… We are all in this together. And as a team we will work to figure out ways that we can make a positive impact in our communities.” The Chicago Bears said in a statement that the team was pausing football activities “to voice to each other, our coaches and our staff where we stand on the real issues around race and police brutality in our country.”The NFL and the NFL Players Association said in a joint statement that both were “united more than ever to support one another in these challenging times.””We share anger and frustration, most recently as a result of the shooting of Jacob Blake.”Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by police on Sunday as he tried to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His shooting became the latest incident to prompt outrage nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.
NBA players last sat out a game in protest nearly 60 years ago
NBA players boycotting a game has happened only once before, according to Elle Duncan of ESPN. Almost 60 years ago, Hall of Famer Bill Russell and some of his Boston Celtics teammates sat out a game in 1961 in protest of racial injustice. Strikes are banned under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, which means the Bucks players broke their own contract in order to protest racial injustice and police violence.In a players’ meeting on Wednesday night, the LA teams were reportedly the only two NBA teams who voted to boycott the NBA season. Charania, who cites unnamed sources in his reporting, said all other NBA teams voted to continue playing.
Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videosThe vote that was taken doesn’t appear to be binding. According to Wojnarowski, who cited unnamed sources, it was more of a poll than a final vote.