Michael Jordan mediates talks between NBA players and owners as it postpones Thursday games

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Jordan, who is the only Black majority owner in the league, also serves as the NBA Labor Relations Committee chairman and following the news that Thursday’s three playoff games were postponed, the NBA announced that there would be a meeting between players and management to discuss how to proceed.

And in that meeting, Jordan — a former player and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets — became the primary mediator between the two sides, according to ESPN.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has since reported the NBA players’ decision to return to the postseason.

The postponement of Thursday’s playoff games came after the Milwaukee Bucks players chose not to play against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday after the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Three other NBA playoff games were called off on Wednesday — as well as a whole host in other US sports — but the league says it hopes that it can “resume games either Friday or Saturday.”

An empty court and bench are shown following the scheduled start time of Game 5 of an NBA first-round playoff series.
Meanwhile Los Angeles Laker LeBron James, who is spearheading a multimillion-dollar campaign to recruit poll workers in Black electoral districts ahead of November’s elections, continued to call for electoral participation on Twitter.

“Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! 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.”

Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by police on Sunday as he tried to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His shooting became the latest incident to prompt outrage nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.

‘This is not a strike. This is not a boycott’

Like their male counterparts, the WNBA postponed Thursday’s games, the second straight night of postponements, to “continue discussions and reflection on recent events.”

On Thursday, the entire league of WNBA players stood arm-in-arm together in solidarity, while Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, who is the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) president, spoke to ESPN’s Holly Rowe.

After the WNBA announcement of the postponed games for the evening, the Washington Mystics each wear white T-shirts with seven bullets on the back protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake.

“It is important to note that this is not a strike,” Ogwumike, reading a statement from the players, said. “This is not a boycott. This is affirmatively a day of reflection. A day of informed action and mobilization.”

Ogwumike said players plan to play in games that are scheduled for Friday.

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