The NBA season was shut down in March due to the coronavirus. However, with the country reopening, despite COVID-19 cases spiking all over the country, some people are wondering if it’s time for the players to return to the court.
But with social justice protests calling for accountability in police brutality cases, players are divided.
According to CBS, in a June 12 conference call with NBA and WNBA players Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and and vice president of the NBA Players Association, said returning to the court is not a good idea and he's "willing to give up everything I have [for social reform]."
Lakers center Dwight Howard said in a statement to CNN, "I agree with Kyrie [Irving]. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn't needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction.”
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Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers argued that players need their salaries, which could also fund important causes for social justice.
He wrote on Instagram, “With this money you could help out even more people and continue to give more importantly your time and energy towards the BLM movement. Which I'm 100% on board with.”
He also added, “Not to mention there are plenty of NBA players I know who need them paychecks.... 99% of the NBA hasn't made the money a guy like Kyrie has.”
Garrett Temple, who plays with Irving on the Nets, also disagreed with his teammate in an interview with ESPN, “When people bring up not playing -- we are a few black men that can make a little bit of money. It is not a lot of money when [you] think about it in the grand scheme of America. But we can start having a little bit of money, create a little bit of generational wealth.”
According to Yahoo, The NBA plans to reopen at the end of July in Orlando at World Disney World with 22 teams competing for the playoffs.