Home Sports Kyrie Irving forms coalition to derail NBA restart, fight racial injustice

Kyrie Irving forms coalition to derail NBA restart, fight racial injustice

0


A new player coalition has been formed, led by injured Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, to continue a push to derail the NBA’s Orlando restart because of concerns over taking the spotlight away from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The coalition, of which Lakers’ reserve Avery Bradley is also an organizer, is being put together to provide a voice for players who, according to ESPN, “fear retribution if they openly voice their concerns’’ about racial injustice. ESPN reported 40 players got on a conference call Monday to discuss the matter.

Irving, out after shoulder surgery and unable to play in Orlando, started the revolt in a Friday conference call among 80 players, questioning the timing of the 22-team restart with training camp set to begin around July 10.

The seventh-place Nets are part of the restart, but Irving and Kevin Durant have said they will miss the proceedings, giving Brooklyn little chance of advancing far in the playoffs.

A week ago, Irving was told, as an injured player, he would be unable to join his team at there with traveling parties pared to 35.

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie IrvingGetty Images

Sources told The Post other players are concerned less about stealing the spotlight from Black Lives Matter and more about being away from their wives, girlfriends and other female companionship in the Disney World bubble for at least six weeks.

In addition, some players on teams distanced from the eighth seed are bothered that after two games, their clubs could be out of the playoff hunt, according to The Post’s sources.

The teams will play eight regular-season games before the playoffs. Hence, those players would be forced to make major sacrifices and take health risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic for what could be just a few meaningless games.

The new coalition released a statement to ESPN expressing its views about racism in the wake of the police-related death of George Floyd.

“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,” the coalition said in the statement. “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 where as 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.

“As an oppressed community we are going on 500-plus years of being systemically targeted, used for our IP [intellectual property]/Talent, and also still being killed by the very people that are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ us.

“WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”

“We are combating the issues that matter most: We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions.

“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.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here