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Players agree to continue playoffs but crisis over police shootings continues

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Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

NBA players have decided to resume the playoffs, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The news has been confirmed by other news outlets.

Thursday’s three playoff games will be postponed. A resumption of the season could come as soon as Friday, according to ESPN, but at the latest, players are there is expected to be back on court by the weekend.

Players held a meeting at 11 a.m. ET. There will be another meeting Thursday with two players from each team, sources tell ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. In addition, the NBA Board of Governors, the 30 teams’ owners, held an emergency meeting on Thursday morning as well.

Thursday’s second meeting of players is to formulate “action plans” to address racial injustice issues as well as ironing out details of restarting the playoffs, according to ESPN.

Late Thursday, Joe Tsai added his voice...

On Wednesday, Bucks players led a protest that resulted in a postponement of all three games that day. The Bucks were incensed by a series of events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. On Sunday, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven times in the back during an altercation in his neighborhood. Blake is now paralyzed.

The shooting led to four nights of protests in the city. Shortly before midnight Tuesday, things turned violent again when two people were killed and another wounded when a 17-year-old white supremacist opened fire on protesters with a military-style AR-15. The Kenosha police chief seemed to blame the protesters for the shooting. “It is the persons who were involved after the legal time, involved in illegal activity, that brought violence to this community,” said Chief Daniel Miskinis, a statement that further inflamed protests.

The Bucks decided against playing shortly before their game with the Magic and instead spoke with Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor and attorney general regarding their concerns.

Nets players reacted to the shootings and the boycott on social media...

And the Nets organization posted this image on the team’s official website...

Many NBA analysts noted that the boycott was reminiscent of Kyrie Irving’s efforts to raise the issue of social justice back in June. At the time, Irving asked his fellow NBA players to consider whether a return-to-play would take away from players’ concerns about previous killings. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery all died at the hands of police or vigilantes between February and May.

Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of who has a good relationship with Irving tweeted out this comment Wednesday from “a source close to ... Irving”...

“The whole point is to use the platform to make change. Now that there’s basketball being played, the platform being provided is a distraction. We need to be using this unique opportunity to create change.”

Thursday’s resolution of the boycott comes one day after Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai, the Nets owners, announced a $50 million commitment to social justice efforts in Brooklyn —on top of a $10 million contribution to a league wide effort. Clara Wu Tsai has contributed a like amount to Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance aimed at reforming the nation’s prision and parole system.

The Tsais’ other basketball team, the New York Liberty, spent much of yesterday in a public discussion of social justice and police shootings.