While the NBA is gearing up for its return, a few players have formed a coalition to give others a space to raise their concerns about finishing out the season.
Some of that apprehension is about the games taking away from the progress of the protests and Black Lives Matter movement. Stars like Avery Bradley, Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard have been vocal about that.
Especially Irving. And rumors were flying around that the Brooklyn Nets guard was encouraging others to stay home from Orlando and potentially create a new basketball league.
Those rumors have since been debunked by teammates, and Howard on Wednesday clarified that their intention isn’t to burn all the NBA’s plans down.
Here’s an excerpt from the statement the Los Angeles Laker made, via The Athletic’s Shams Charania”
Contrary to popular belief, we are not attempting to halt the resumption of the basketball season in Orlando. It would be silly to think we could stop a force as powerful as the NBA, nor would we want to considering the wonderful opportunities they have afforded us.
Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency on the things that concern us collectively. Many of our fellow players are afraid to voice their concerns and are continuing to follow along with what they believe they have to.
Some of these players may have leaders that could speak for them but unfortunately as history shows, leaders sometimes become self serving and forget the people that they are supposed to represent. Some leaders even use fear and intimidation to make sure they serve their own agendas, while forgetting the feelings of other people.
In a time like this where we are fighting for equal rights, it would be contradictory if we told our own players to not play and do as we say. We are not here to dictate, nor do we have the power to do so. We want to make sure communication is taking place without fear.
You can read Howard’s full statement below.
Lakers' Dwight Howard in statement to @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency…Many of our fellow players are afraid to voice their concerns and are continuing to follow along with what they believe they have to." pic.twitter.com/dfTlSPBwpV
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2020