Game 1 of the Boston Celtics-Toronto Raptors series has been postponed along with the other two NBA playoff games scheduled for Thursday, but the league is hopeful games will resume this week.
In a statement, the league confirmed reports that Thursday's games would be postponed amid protests against racial injustice following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“NBA playoff games for today will not be played as scheduled," Mike Bass, the NBA's executive vice president, said in a statement. "We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday."
Bass added there would be a video conference call meeting Thursday afternoon between players and league and team officials to discuss next steps.
Additionally, the NHL has postponed all of its playoff games Thursday and Friday, including Game 4 between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. Some Major League Baseball games, including Thursday's matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, were also postponed.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said earlier that NBA playoff games could resume as early as Friday, but are expected by this weekend at the latest.
The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn said he has heard games will resume Saturday and that Game 1 of the Celtics-Raptors will be played on Sunday.
Players from six NBA teams decided not to play postseason games Wednesday after Blake, a Black man, was shot repeatedly Sunday, apparently in the back, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as his three children looked on.
Blake's father said he was left paralyzed from the waist down. The broad daylight shooting was captured on video that spread quickly on social media.
"Being a Black man in America is more important than what I do on the basketball court," Jayson Tatum said Wednesday. "Using my platform and my voice to help create conversation and change is more important than anything I would do out there."
The NBA called off all of Wednesday's games after Wisconsin's NBA team, the Bucks, started the boycotts by refusing to emerge from their locker room to play a playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA's board of governors are meeting Thursday to discuss the new developments, according to The Associated Press.
“This is the first time in the NBA's history that an entire team has decided to boycott because of racial injustice," said Dr. Joseph Cooper, UMass Boston's J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair of Sport Leadership and Administration.
Some players, including Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, have taken on a leading role in the fight for racial justice, according to Cooper, who specializes in the intersection of sports and race.
"Today in society, we need people who are anti-racist. People who say, 'Not only do I not condone racism, but I’m actively doing something to address racism,'" Cooper said. "And I think the athletes of today, particularly in the NBA as well as in the other leagues, are taking that to heart.”
Since the return of the NBA's 2020 season in July, social justice messages have been displayed on the back of jerseys and the courts in the wake of the national unrest following the death of George Floyd.
More Coverage on NBA Boycotts
Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from NBA teams are deciding not to play postseason games.