A coalition of NBA players has expressed their reservations about coming to Orlando to resume the season, and now Los Angeles Clipper Lou Williams is saying he’s conflicted about whether to play.
Williams, a 6th man of the year candidate, said, “sports in this climate are a distraction,” during a virtual chat with ESPN Friday.
Williams said he remains 50-50 on whether he will join the bubble league and that he doesn’t know if things will change over a six-week period.
Players have until Wednesday to let the league know if they’ll participate or not.
A coalition of players led by the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Avery Bradley has spoken out over the past few weeks on the need for players to focus on social justice issues.
It remains to be seen if there will be any implications for players if they chose to sit out the rest of the season.
It may very well cost a contending team, such as the Clippers or their city-rival Lakers, a championship.
“For us, the only benefit of us not playing is to keep the focus on the fight. And with that being said, this [return] is in six weeks. … In six weeks, the world may need some healing. They may need us to be on the floor. But if more black kids or black adults or any adults that’s dealing with police brutality are getting killed, and we are still outraged, I don’t know if it is in our best interest to suit up.” Williams said.
Afterward, Williams tweeted out a message that mentioned, “I never said I was never going to play”.
I never said I wasn’t gonna play. But everyday all we see on espn is NBA coming back. On cnn I see another black man killed by police last night. I don’t expect you to understand cause u don’t have a platform. So borrow mine. Say something that’ll make mom proud. Go https://t.co/QkbpHq9Ppg
— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) June 13, 2020
Like many athletes, Williams is using his voice to speak out for the Black Lives Matter movement.
And though many NBA stars have spoken out and protested, their thoughts on the best way to move forward differ.
Some believe restarting will help the cause and unite people because the country has been without live entertainment for over three months.
Others believe it will halt the progress.
It remains another interesting twist on how the bubble league will look on July 31.