The NBA has reportedly told teams to prepare for game postponements in the wake of a potential verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder case this week.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the possibility of civil unrest following a verdict could lead to a pause in the season for "a night or two."
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is facing second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, last May during an arrest attempt. A state medical examiner testified Floyd died primarily as a result of asphyxiation caused by Chauvin's refusal to stop kneeling on Floyd's neck.
Video of Floyd's death—in which he can be heard pleading for his life and calling out for his mother as Chauvin kneeled on his neck—led to nationwide protests of continued police brutality and discrimination against Black people.
The NBA dedicated significant resources to social justice reform and messaging during the Orlando restart, including painting "Black Lives Matter" on courts and allowing players to put social justice messaging on their jerseys. The NBA and WNBA also postponed playoff games in August amid player protests after police shot Jacob Blake several times in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
A game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets was postponed last Monday after Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer Kimberly Potter shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, and protests have been ongoing following Wright's death.
Minneapolis and other cities around the United States have increased their security in preparation for the verdict in Chauvin's trial.