While Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving might not take the court when the 2019-’20 NBA season resumes in Orlando, he is ready to fight for those he cares about. He proved it on Friday night during a call with nearly 100 NBA players, expressing concern for the NBA’s plan to return and stepping up for reform across the United States.
Kyrie Irving: “I’m willing to give up everything I have” for social reform
Irving was a part of a call on Friday with more than 80 players, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, serving as a leading voice for those concerned about the NBA’s plan to resume the season on July 30 in Orlando. During the conversation, Irving spoke up about the NBA’s wishes to play basketball in Orlando, all while millions across the country protest systemic racism in the United States following the death of George Floyd.
“I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the b*******,” Kyrie Irving said, via The Athletic. “…Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up.””
NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Donovan Mitchell have admitted they might sit out the NBA’s resumed season due to the health risk and the ongoing systemic issues in the country. Rather than play, the players would use their platform to help fight for social and police reform.
Irving seemed to even go a step further, indicating there is nothing he isn’t willing to give up in the name of bringing positive change to the United States.
Many other NBA stars, including LeBron James, are committed to playing when the season resumes. In part, as detailed by ESPN, because players already lost $300 million in salary this year and could lose more than $1 billion if the season is canceled and the NBA terminates the collective bargaining agreement.
While that would be a significant financial loss for everyone across the league, it’s clear several players are willing to accept that hit if it means stepping up and fighting for the rights of others. If the players decide to take the court, though, Irving will support them all.