NBA players on the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics came together on Tuesday to discuss potentially boycotting Game 1 of the semifinal series for the Eastern Conference, according to Sportsnet.
The teams are scheduled to start their series on Thursday and are planning to meet again on Wednesday.
Chris Haynes from Yahoo! Sports’ on Wednesday tweeted that the executive committee of the NBA Players Association “is in active discussions with players who are seeking guidance on the logistics of potentially boycotting games.”
Haynes added that on Tuesday players held an assembly for those experiencing emotional trauma after the recent police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc.
Some people who reached out said that “they’re not in the right frame of mind to play basketball” following the display of excessive force by police.
A number of players and members of the league have talked about being in the NBA’s bubble while there are acts of violence going on outside of it.
On Tuesday, Fred VanVleet, a Raptors guard said, “Would it be nice if, in a perfect world, we all say we’re not playing, and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks — that’s going to trickle down,”
“If he steps up to the plate and puts pressure on the district attorney’s office, and state’s attorney, and governors, and politicians there to make real change and get some justice. I know it’s not that simple. But, at the end of the day, if we’re gonna sit here and talk about making change, then at some point we’re gonna have to put our nuts on the line and actually put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility.’
“I’m just over the media aspect of it. It’s sensationalized — we talk about it every day, that’s all we see, but it just feels like a big pacifier to me.”
George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks said that players returning to the NBA “took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
“We shouldn’t have even come to this damn place, to be honest,” he told reporters. “I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”