(Reuters) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on Thursday it hopes to resume play in a day or two after a boycott by players protesting racial injustice and police brutality, while President Donald Trump denounced the league.
NBA Executive Vice President Mike Bass said the league is “hopeful” it will resume games Friday or Saturday after the protest, which was sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and led to game cancellations in other sports as well.
The NBA players, a majority of whom are Black, decided not to extend the boycott in a meeting on their quarantined campus at Disney World in Florida, where games have occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, during a briefing on Hurricane Laura on Thursday, criticized the NBA for postponing six games in response to the players’ action. “They’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing,” Trump said.
The basketball players’ protest began when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
The Bucks players said they were unable to focus on basketball due to demonstrations and violence in Kenosha, which is about 40 miles (60 km) south of Milwaukee.
The police shooting of Blake reminded Americans of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May.
That incident sparked anti-racism demonstrations and civil unrest across the United States and globally as well as prompted a national reckoning on race and justice that has rippled through U.S. life.
After the player boycott