- The Milwaukee Bucks put out a statement calling for justice for Jacob Blake after police shot him in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- The statement came after the team boycotted their game on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic.
- In the statement, the Bucks called for the officer who shot Blake to be held accountable, and for the Wisconsin State Legislature to address police brutality and criminal justice reform.
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The Milwaukee Bucks read out a statement to gathered media on Wednesday after refusing to take the court for their scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The team's decision to boycott the game came in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Bucks remained inside their locker room as news of their refusal to play spread. Soon, the rest of the teams scheduled to play on Wednesday night joined their cause.
After three hours in the locker room working out their words, the Bucks met with media, with George Hill and Sterling Brown reading off their statement.
Read the Bucks statement in full below.
"The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.
"Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we've seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.
"When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.
"We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3."
The Bucks ownership group put out a statement of their own, standing by their players and their decision to protest.
"We fully support our players and the decision they made," the statement read. "Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them."
"The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change."
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