Kyrie Irving, player coalition release strong statement on racism, social injustice
A coalition of players led by Brooklyn Nets star and NBPA vice president Kyrie Irving is still unsure about whether to commit to heading to Orlando to take part in the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, citing the ongoing movement against racism and social injustice. Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers is also taking a leadership role alongside Irving.
The coalition is pushing for a closer look into the league’s precise plans for the bubble-like scenario set to occur at Walt Disney World. On Monday afternoon, the contingent’s leadership released a statement via ESPN questioning the motives of the league and providing some insight into the group’s thinking.
“We are a group of men and women from different teams and industries that are normally painted as opponents, but have put our egos and differences aside to make sure we stand united and demand honesty during this uncertain time…we will continue to use our voices and platforms for positive change and truth,” the statement read.
The players preached for togetherness, adding that they “are truly at an inflection point in history” where they “can band together” and unify as a collective group.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the coalition wants to hear more ideas from the league on how it plans to invest in resources and ideas to help combat social justice reform.
The coalition reiterated that they remain focused on “combating the issues that matter most,” which includes both the call for activism and adequate coronavirus-related health and safety measures.
“We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions,” the statement furthered.
On a call with more than 80 players on Friday night, Kyrie Irving (and others) voiced out their concerns about the NBA’s restart plan, noting that it could potentially be a distraction to the ongoing fight against systemic racism that has plagued the nation for several years now.
“This is not about individual players, athletes or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change” the statement added. “We are all fathers, daughters leaders and so much more. So what is our BIG picture? We are in this for UNITY and CHANGE!”