Plans to restart the NBA season have hit a snag as the Nets’ Kyrie Irving and the Lakers’ Avery Bradley lead a faction of players hesitant to go to Orlando.
According to ESPN’s sources, Irving and Bradley have become the public faces for players fearing a possible backlash for their health concerns and desire to bring about social justice reform.
Players have pointed out the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the state of Florida the past week and how that could impact their stay in Orlando and the safety of the proposed bubble environment.
The faction also sees an opportunity during this historical moment to make fundamental changes to the investment of resources and ideas of the league’s constituencies, including the commissioner’s office, ownership level, management, and players’ association, according to ESPN sources.
The group, which includes NBA and WNBA players, released a statement to ESPN Monday.
A coalition of NBA players including Kyrie Irving, Avery Bradley and more are pursuing further examination of the NBA's plan to restart the season in Orlando.
(via @wojespn, @malika_andrews) https://t.co/GbIfjetZQr pic.twitter.com/ZYxPo6LCdS
— ESPN (@espn) June 15, 2020
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. Native indigenous African Caribbean men and women entertaining the world, we will continue to use our voices and platforms for positive change and truth. We are truly at an inflection point in history whereas a collective community, we can band together — UNIFY — and move as one. We need all our people with us and we will stand together in solidarity… This is not about individual players, athletes, or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change. We have our respective fields, however, we will not just shut up and play to distract us from what this whole system has been about: Use and Abuse. We are all fathers, daughters leaders and so much more. So what is our BIG picture? We are in this for UNITY and CHANGE!
Irving has come under fire for proposing players sit out the rest of the season when some argue that the basketball court offers players the biggest and loudest platform.
First off.. we all want equality. There are different ways to ascertain that goal. So if players don’t play, what specifically are they asking for in return? https://t.co/LXLza5sfKj
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) June 15, 2020
They ain't just talking, they're DOING!!! pic.twitter.com/X70cMh6IFj
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 15, 2020
The NBA is set to tip off July 31 at Walt Disney World Resort.