Kyrie Irving apparently isn’t on board with the idea of restarting the NBA season, believing it will divert attention from the protests against police brutality and racial inequality dominating the national conversation.
But a few players disagree. LeBron James reportedly thinks he can play basketball again while simultaneously inspiring societal change, and Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers also had a counterargument against Irving.
Rivers made the point that the NBA coming back puts money in players’ pockets, which they could then turn around and donate to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Not to mention, Rivers brought up that, “99 percent of the NBA hasn’t made the money a guy like Kyrie has,” and those players need that money.
“NBA basketball is predominately African American … and a lot of our audience is too,” Rivers’ said Saturday on Instagram, via ESPN.
“Us providing entertainment and hope for kids is important. Also keeping SOME kids indoors and watching basketball games on TV instead of maybe going out and getting into trouble, (due to the unfair and unequal environments a lot of African American kids are placed in) is important too.
“NOT saying basketball is a cure for that but basketball can maybe provide a distraction.”
Austin Rivers responds to Kyrie Irving being opposed to resuming the NBA season in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/D7A7jbpUE2
— ESPN (@espn) June 13, 2020
Rivers also made note of the ramifications of not playing this year and how it will impact the CBA, money from television networks and a number of other economical factors.
“I love Kyrie’s passion towards helping this movement,” Rivers said. “It’s admirable and inspiring. I’m with it … but in the right way and not at the cost of the whole NBA and players careers. We can do it both. We can play and we can help change the way black lives are lived.”