NBA players plan to take a stand against NBA restart
Roughly 150 players plan to join on a Zoom call Friday night to discuss opposing the plan to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World, according to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks. Roughly 50 players met last week, looking for a way to take a stand against the plan to resume the season on July 30.
This comes on the heels of a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, stressing that some players have expressed issues with the return, citing several different reasons, ranging from poor optics to a lack of conviction in the league’s safety protocols.
“What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time?” a black player told Haynes. “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.”
Haynes’ report came soon after Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon noted he had a number of players reaching out to him with concerns about the restart. Brogdon, who was elected as the National Basketball Players Association’s Vice President in 2019, noted some players would be “super interested” in not taking part in the resumption of the season.
Some players were adamant that their voices were not heard at a recent NBPA vote to approve the Board of Governors’ proposal to resume the season, but feared speaking out due to the potential backlash of going against superstar players, who strongly favored a return.
Naturally, star players have the most to lose if the season goes by the wayside, as they could see a large amount of their earnings be stripped from them as a measure to make up for the losses sustained from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Others like the anonymous player quoted above, feel the time is simply not right for a return, considering the owners are strongly pushing a league that is predominantly comprised of black players to return and sequester them for three months in hopes to salvage revenue and entertain the masses.
Players like Carmelo Anthony and Jerami Grant have expressed their doubts of a potential return at the Disney World bubble, noting there would be plenty to consider before making that decision.
It’s worth noting that 150 players is roughly 33% of the league. If unified in sentiment, they could take up matters with the NBPA and demand an alternate solution.
As it is now, players who do not take part in the restart will not be paid their remaining salaries.