NEW YORK - Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving reportedly led a conference call according to sources along with 80 co-players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) expressing his contrariety to the plan of the league in resuming the 2019-2020 season in Orlando on Friday.
The Nets guard who had undergone a season-ending surgery on his shoulder in February led the discussion along with NBA stars Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Irving's co-Nets superstar Kevin Durant.
According to Sports Illustrated, Irving shared that he is not supporting the games to be in Orlando, as he emphasized that he is not with the systematic racism and he smells something fishy.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Irving also mentioned that for social reform he is willing to give up everything.
Other players also shared their concerns about the return-to-play plan of the league, wherein the 22 teams will be heading to Orlando in Florida to continue the hanging regular season before proceeding to the playoffs.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the games will begin on July 30.
Threat of coronavirus and civil unrest lead to doubts about season resumption.
In their call discussion on Friday, some players also admitted that they had reservations about returning to the court, and shared that they could possibly sit out because of the ongoing threat of coronavirus in the US aside from the other issue which concerns about the stemming of racial injustice across the country.
As shared by Charania, other players that participated on the call include, Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday and Miles Turner of Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum and Zach Collins, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris of Philadelphia, Utah's Mike Conley Jr., Kyle Lowry of Toronto and Al-Farouq Aminu of Orlando Magic.
Former players of the NBA and NBPA executive Roger Mason Jr. also joined the discussion on Friday.
Despite being sidelined due to the shoulder injury he incurred, the Nets guard has reportedly been vocal with regards to the efforts made by the NBPA or National Basketball Players Association in unifying the league and its players about the endorsement money and sponsorship.
CBS Sports also reported that Charania also shared that the call on Friday was the way of Kyrie Irving in questioning the norms of the players' association.
Multiple players coming from the current roster of the Lakers are part of the growing movement, pushing to sit out players during the restart plan of the league in Orlando as part of protest regarding social injustice, but despite the numbers, Lakers' superstar LeBron James remained positive about the season's pick up.
On the other hand, based on the reports, the NBA is not requiring its players to joined the restart of the season if they are not comfortable of doing it. They also made sure that those players who will sit out will just lose a portion of their salaries and will not face any sanctions from the league.
Wojnarowski also shared that if a player experienced a medical issue hindering his participation to play in Orlando, he will be permitted to see a private doctor for his examination. But even the player is already cleared to come back to the court, the player still has an option not to and will face no consequences.
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