Kyrie Irving isn’t the only NBA player who is against the league restarting their season while people are still out on the street fighting systemic racism and police brutality.
On Friday, Irving led a call filled with 80 NBA players and argued that players should sit out the season to not take attention away from the Black Lives Matter protests currently taking place across the country.
Sources tell me majority of the NBA call was on social justice reform. It lasted for about 2 hours, but over an hour was dedicated to that.
While they are absolutely all concerned about COVID and that was a vital part of conversation. Racial injustice is the #1 talking point.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 13, 2020
Sources: Kyrie Irving led a call of 80-plus NBA players, including Chris Paul/Kevin Durant/Carmelo Anthony/Donovan Mitchell, and Irving and several players spoke up about not supporting resumed season due to nationwide unrest from social injustice/racism.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 13, 2020
Via The Athletic
Sources tell The Athletic that a group consisting of 80-plus players — including NBPA Vice President Kyrie Irving, NBPA president Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Donovan Mitchell and Avery Bradley — discussed finding unity and a way to attack a cause amid the nationwide unrest stemming from racial injustice, systematic racism and police brutality as well as what the world continues to face during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dwight Howard stressed to players that playing in Orlando will become a distraction from the issues the country is facing, and that they need to unify and use this moment to create a change.
Lakers center Dwight Howard spoke to CNN on Saturday and backed Kyrie’s idea to sit out until “things get resolved’ in the country.
Dwight Howard statement, provided by his agent, to CNN: pic.twitter.com/sk9uSSHlpp
— Jill Martin (@ByJillMartin) June 14, 2020
“I agree with Kyrie (Irving). Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction. Sure it might not distract us the players, but we have resources at hand majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them, can start a trickle down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now.
“I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just to (sic) beautiful to pass up. What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families?
“This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of. When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families? This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family!! European Colonization stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves. Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It’s time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved.”
Howard’s teammate LeBron James didn’t participate in the call but Sam Amick is reporting that LeBron insists that he wants to play out the season because he feels that he can still play basketball and advocate for change in the country at the same time.