The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have reportedly voted to boycott the remainder of the NBA season as part of the growing protest following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Reports late on Wednesday indicated that the teams opted to stop playing as a form of protest, becoming the first in the league to do so. Teams had already voted not to play in the games scheduled on that and the following days.
BREAKING: The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the remainder of the NBA season. pic.twitter.com/2jp6H5SbRc
— theScore (@theScore) August 27, 2020
As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported, players from NBA teams met on Wednesday night to discuss how to proceed with the season after all who were scheduled to play in the coming days opted to go on strike. He noted that every team besides the Lakers and Clippers voted to continue playing the remainder of the playoffs. You can view his tweet here.
LeBron James appeared to be a leader of the movement to forgo the entire season, saying he wanted the league’s owners to become more involved in the protest and to take action.
As Charania further reported, the entire NBA season now appears to be in doubt given the possible exit of the top two seeds in the Western Conference.
“Sources: Miami’s Udonis Haslem spoke and essentially told everyone in room that — without Lakers and Clippers, how will season continue? LeBron James walked out. Rest of Lakers and Clippers exited behind him.”
It was not immediately clear how the NBA would proceed, and the league had not yet issued a statement in response to the decision by the Lakers and Clippers to boycott the remainder of the season. The NBA’s Board of Governors was reportedly planning to meet early on Thursday to discuss the decision.
Sources to @YahooSports: Board of governors meeting scheduled for 11 AM ET. So the Clippers and Lakers power move is giving the owners a timeline on a plan
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) August 27, 2020
The protest that began on Wednesday with the Milwaukee Bucks voting not the play in their game grew quickly, with the other teams scheduled to compete also joining in. Several MLB teams have decided not to play as well, and the Detroit Lions had already decided to cancel practice as a form of protest. It was not yet clear if the demonstrations in either the MLB or NFL are spreading as rapidly as they did in the NBA.
James has become increasingly vocal in calling for justice after police shootings of Black men and women. Reports indicated that he led both the Lakers and Clippers out of the player’s meeting that took place on Wednesday evening after the respective teams made the decision not to continue.