The NBA has heard Kyrie Irving and the coalition of players with hard questions about the NBA’s return — and players saying they don’t want to go to Orlando for the restart. Tuesday, it responded saying “a central goal” of restarting the league is providing a platform that can bring attention and action to social justice issues.
The NBA sent a memo to teams on Tuesday specifically on this topic, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
NBA has informed all 30 teams of this entering 2019-20 resumption: "A central goal of our season restart will be to utilize the NBA's platform to bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice…" pic.twitter.com/qfrRms88Hi
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2020
“A central goal of our season restart will be to utilize the NBA’s platform to bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice, including combatting systemic racism, expanding educational and economic opportunities across the Black community, enacting meaningful police and criminal justice reform and promoting greater civic engagement. We are in discussions with the Players Association to develop a comprehensive strategy on how the NBA, its teams and players can best address these important social issues and uniquely position our league to drive action and create meaningful and generational change.”
Once again, the NBA is saying the right things, and no doubt the league office means every word of it. Their hearts are in the right place. And they are negotiating with the players’ union to come up with a strategy.
But, as Avery Bradley pointed out, this is a time for actions from the league and its owners, not words — “We don’t need to say more. We need to find a way to achieve more.”
Players rightfully will want to see the coming plan, not just a statement. Even if the statement is a good start.