The NBA has suspended games for the second time this season after players refused to play as a form of protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23rd. The first suspension was due to the coronavirus pandemic. NBA legend Michael Jordan is reportedly mediating in the discussion between the players and the league to resume the season.
At least nine games have been suspended since championship contender Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott their game against the Orlando Magic on August 26. It would have been Game 5 of the series with the Bucks leading 3-1.
Other teams followed suit to show their solidarity to the cause.
The NBA is currently in the first round of the playoffs. The 2019-2020 season restarted on July 31 after over four months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA legend Michael Jordan, on behalf of the players and as the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, mediated with the league and other team owners to resume the games again.
According to Sky Sports, Michael Jordan is also the chairman of the NBA's Labour Relations Committee. He played a "key role" in helping fellow team owners understand the players' situation in their stand against social injustice.
The Charlotte Hornets did not qualify for the playoffs and are currently not part of the ongoing boycott.
The games will likely resume on Saturday Eastern Standard Time after the league agreed on players' demands to form a social justice coalition and allowed NBA arenas to be used as voting stations in the upcoming U.S. elections.
The coalition which is composed of players, coaches, and team governors will focus on increased access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver support the move, but it is currently unclear who is part of the coalition and how it will affect the league moving forward.
At the moment, the team governors have pledged to work with local election officials to convert NBA arenas, owned by their respective franchises, into voting locations for the U.S. 2020 general elections.
According to CNN, Michael Jordan will continue to serve as an intermediary between players and team owners regarding the coalition's actions in line with its goal.
Michael Jordan is the only Black majority team owner in the NBA with 30 teams.