Los Angeles Lakers centre Dwight Howard released a statement Wednesday pushing back on the notion that he, Kyrie Irving and other players try to “put an end” to the resumption of the NBA in expressing their reservations about the continuation of the 2019-20 season.
“Regardless of what the critics and the reward in front of us, we want to protect players who are afraid to protect themselves,” Howard said, in part, by Shams Charania of the sport and the Stadium. “We’re going to ask all the embarrassing questions that can lead us all to the truth and unity. Even if we are sacrificed, and did not like, it will be better for all the world as a whole, knowing that their feelings as human beings are just as relevant as the ones that dominate. “
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Lakers’ Dwight Howard in the declaration of @TheAthleticNBA @Stage: “Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency…Many of our players are afraid to express their concerns and continue to follow with what they believe they have to do.” https://t.co/dfTlSPBwpV
Howard and Irving have been among the most prominent voices leading to conversations between the players who are reluctant to return in July. The players have cited security concerns in the middle of the COVID-19 in the event of a pandemic and wondered if basketball back to distract from the current discussions on racial equality after the murder of George Floyd.
“I can’t stand to go in Orlando,” Irving said during a conference call of about 80 players last week, by Charania. “I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls–t. … something smells a little fishy. If we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as the men in black, every day we wake up. “
The manifestations of police brutality and racial discrimination against blacks have been going on in the country since the video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes has gone viral on social media. Chauvin was charged with second-and third-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter. Two pathologists determined Floyd’s death was a homicide.
Irving, who is the NBPA vice-president and set up the conference call for the players to express their concerns, should not play when the season resumes because of a shoulder injury. Howard is a key component of the Lakers team that is expected to compete for a championship.
“As radical as Kyrie may seem, it is 100% correct. We are no longer slaves, so that each man has a right to transparency in order to make sound decisions, ” Howard said. “And as Avery [Bradley] said, in the decision we’ve made, make sure that you of us the thought of everyone collectively, and does not move based on selfish agenda. “
Howard previously said basketball is not ” needed now “, in a statement to CNN. He, however, did not say whether he plans on returning to the Lakers when the players are due to return in their markets next week.
The NBA said players will not be punished if they choose not to participate in the so-called Orlando a ” bubble “. The players are set in their respective markets for the next week before traveling to Orlando on the 7th of July. The season is set to resume on 30 July.