While the NBA and the NBAPA have already announced an agreement to restart the season in late July it doesn’t seem like all the players are on board being sequestered to play basketball right now considering the racial climate in the country.
If the NBA season were to restart in Orlando in July, players would have to live in a restrictive “bubble environment” for three and a half months.
The league is expected to house everyone at one hotel and limit access to those outside the bubble. There will be some ability to move around and eat at outdoor restaurants and have some recreation, such as playing golf. But overall, the NBA is expected to keep the bubble tight to prevent the introduction of the coronavirus.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris B. Haynes, several black players have voiced their displeasure with being forced to live in a bubble “to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden” while Black Lives Matters protest continue to take place around the country.
Yahoo Sources: Significant number of players disappointed their voice wasn’t heard in decision to restart season, and others believe black players sequestered to entertain and ease league’s economic burden amid racial tension is bad optics. https://t.co/F4BiqWD6uQ pic.twitter.com/hhw8rGdLh8
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 12, 2020
Via Yahoo Sports
The unease about relocating to a quarantined campus during the COVID-19 pandemic was already viewed as hazardous and unnecessary to many players. But because of the George Floyd tragedy and the powerful movement for racial justice that’s sweeping the nation, some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden, sources said.
What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time?” a black player told Yahoo Sports. “We’re out here marching and protesting, and yet we all leave our families in these scary times and gather to perform at a place where the owners won’t be at? What type of sense does that make? We’ll be going backwards. That place isn’t that magical.”
Sources said several players have been reluctant to express their views in fear of opposing the superstars who are adamant about playing if proper safety measures are in place.
Haynes’ report comes after Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon explained why several players may consider sitting out season.
— The Ringer (@ringer) June 12, 2020
Some guys are going to say, ‘For health reasons, and COVID, and the long-term effects that we don’t understand about COVID, I want to sit out,’” “Other guys are going to say, ‘The black community and my people are going through too much for me to basically be distracted with basketball. I’m not going to prioritize this over the black community, I’m going to sit out.’ And then there’s another group of guys … who are going to say, ‘No, this is the most amount of money I’m going to make in my lifetime. It doesn’t make sense to hand this money back. I can do so much good in my community if I have this money.’
“I think it’s a matter of perspective. I think guys are gathering to really talk about and dive deep into the idea of not playing.“
In response to player’s concerns, the NBA and the NBAPA are currently carving out an exemption for players who don’t want to return and play in Orlando this summer.
The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a provision that wouldn't require players to restart the season, nor subject them to discipline for staying home, sources tell ESPN. The players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed. https://t.co/WkV5qqEmE5
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020