Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard issued a statement in response to the notion the NBPA is trying to “halt” the NBA's return-to-play plan.

Howard said it would be “foolish” to stop the NBA, adding the players do not want to stop a potential return given the “wonderful opportunities they have afforded us.”

However, Howard said the players are prescient of the impact they have when it comes to raising awareness about social injustice.

Howard also indicated there are some players who feel just as skeptical about a restart, but are afraid to use their voice. As such, he applauded Brooklyn Nets guard and NBPA VP Kyrie Irving for being among the more vocal forces (via Shams Charania of The Athletic).

Dwight Howard said there has not been a single instance where any given player was discouraged from participating in the restart.

The veteran center has been a very measured voice in the last few days.

Howard previously voiced concerns about the NBA serving as a potential distraction from some of the social movements going on around the country.

Despite those concerns, there are indications Howard is prepared to participate. While Lakers teammate Avery Bradley remains unsure, the Los Angeles Times reported Howard is leaning towards playing.

The Lakers could use Howard in the middle. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has been a crucial role player for the Purple and Gold, averaging 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in just under 20 minutes per game.

But while Howard is prepared to play, he applauds and respects those who are more skeptical of what the restart could mean from a social perspective.