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Basketball

NBA, Players Association To Paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ On Orlando Courts

The NBA will resume its season on July 30 in Walt Disney.

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to make waves throughout the country, one professional league said they have plans to make their stance. 

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are planning to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the court in all three arenas teams will be using at the Walt Disney World Resort when its 2019-20 season resumes next month, ESPN reported. The famous phrase will be painted inside both sidelines.

 

Players’ support

Several players have been vocal on the outcry for racial equality and social justice since protests surged nationwide after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery

League superstars Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokuonmpo, DeMar DeRozan and Stephen Curry are just a few players who rallied alongside thousands of protesters, demanding justice and peace. Team organizations also tweeted their stance with Black lives.

 

But despite the season coming back from its COVID-19 hiatus on July 30, some players just feel it’s not the right time to head back to the court.

Earlier this month, The Athletic NBA writer Shams Charania reported that Brooklyn Net Kyrie Irving was against the league’s decision to resume play. 

 

Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard later agreed with Irving, saying that the unity of the Black community is more important than basketball, or any entertainment, CNN reported.

“I agree with Kyrie (Irving). Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction. Sure it might not distract us the players, but we have resources at hand majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them, can start a trickle down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now,” Howard stated. 

“I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just to (sic) beautiful to pass up. What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families. This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of. When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families. This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family,” Howard continued.

“European Colonization stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves. Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It’s time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved.”

 

For NBA players who choose not to play in July, their only consequence is not getting paid. But they’ll lose more money than suspended players. According to Yahoo Sports, they’re losing 1.1 percent, but in perspective:

The share of salaries players lose per game when:

  • Suspended for fewer than 20 games: 0.7%  (1/145th)
  • Suspended for 20 games or more: 0.9% (1/110th)
  • Choosing not to play at Disney World: 1.1%

 

ESPN said the WNBA is also thinking of painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court when its 2020 season begins at the IMG Academy in Florida in July.

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