The number of NBA players reportedly disenchanted with the league’s momentum toward a return to play is growing, according to new reports from across the NBA media. Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report indicated players wanted to reiterate to league stakeholders what their stance is on this moment of political revolution in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and unify behind it.
MORE: I've spoken to multiple players, about 5 days ago there was a zoom call of about 50 players discussing what they can do to take a stand. They are planning another call tonight with about 150 players to solidify what that stand is and stress this only works if they unify. https://t.co/FsklmAiD1I
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 12, 2020
Rooks’ Bleacher Report teammate, Howard Beck, added to that reporting to specify the call could include up to 200 players, and that increasingly, it has been Nets guard Kyrie Irving leading the charge against the league’s plans. Beck called Irving a “driving force” behind raising concerns over playing out the season amidst social unrest and while the country attempts to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic.
Over at Yahoo! Sports, Chris Haynes added to his earlier reporting on the “bad optics” of the NBA return to indicate Irving has organized a call in which players are expected to consider the possibility of not playing at all.
As @TaylorRooks, @HowardBeck reports, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has organized a call tonight for players to discuss what position they should take. He’s of mindset that during racial tension, not returning to play should be considered, sources say. https://t.co/8W8VaZMxQh
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 12, 2020
Despite the memes and silliness that often surround Irving’s public comments, the ability to rally hundreds of colleagues around an issue of this magnitude is admirable. As the Nets’ representative in the players’ association, Irving has been part of the conversations from the jump, but it appears he was the one willing to risk bothering other players, owners, and league officials by starting a dialogue about the hesitancy on many players’ minds. Even if all of these issues end up getting worked out, it is important that they get addressed as soon as possible, and it’ll be fascinating to watch what happens in the coming days and weeks on this front.