But Thursday’s three playoff games have been postponed, the league said in a statement. “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 news.
A video conference call “to discuss next steps” was to be held Thursday afternoon 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.
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.”
The Women’s National Basketball Association postponed three games on Thursday.
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.”
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.
“This is not a strike. This is not a boycott. This is affirmatively a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization,” WNBA Players Association president and LA Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike told ESPN.
In the National Football League, several teams canceled practice Thursday to focus on conversations about race.
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.”
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.
The 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.
CNN’s Ben Morse, Allie Malloy and Dan Kamal contributed to this report.