The NBA is reportedly planning for the possibility of postponing games in anticipation of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
The NBA is trying to be prepared this week as a verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin looms.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the league “instructed teams to be vigilant about the impact of a potential verdict” with the “possibility of game postponements” on the table. Specifically, the NBA may opt to postpone “a night or two of league games.”
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in the death of George Floyd last May. He pleaded not guilty.
Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday, putting a timeline for a potential verdict sooner than later. When it comes, the league would be wise to have a plan in place for responding.
The NBA has to be prepared for a response to the Derek Chauvin trial
At the time of Floyd’s death, the NBA and most sports leagues in the U.S. were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic but unrest sparked across the country.
The NBA grappled with the possibility of canceling the 2020 playoffs in August after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin set off more protests. The Lakers and Clippers voted not to play, though the league ultimately decided to continue the postseason. More recently, the Timberwolves and Nets postponed a game following the police shooting of Daunte Wright, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.
NBA players, including LeBron James and countless others, have taken an active role in speaking out against police violence and social injustice. Regardless of the trial’s outcome, there will be voices from within the NBA who will want to have their say.