The initial reaction to the NBA finalizing a 22-team plan to resume the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, was overwhelmingly positive and full of excitement.
However, as the country began to face social unrest amid systemic racism and police brutality, a players’ coalition formed and began to question the merits of picking back up with the season. Los Angeles Lakers teammates Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard were among the most vocal of the group.
Bradley has since decided he will sit out when the Lakers return to action — both because of health concerns with his son and activism matters. Howard has yet to make a decision, but the Lakers reportedly anticipate he will join them in Orlando.
As players evaluate their options, Danny Green explained to Caron Butler on an NBA broadcast why he believes being part of the league’s return is conducive to spreading a message:
“I think we can use the platform to our advantage and enhance it. I mean, I see both sides. But I think we can easily, and I think social media and all the platforms we have and people watching us, they’re going to be tuning in even more when we’re down there. They’ve been trying to figure out how we can get horse games on Zoom. They’re trying to follow everybody’s content, everybody’s podcast, everybody’s story and seeing who is doing what. When you have games that are going on, they don’t have to do all that. They can just watch TV and see exactly what you’re talking about, see exactly what your passions are.
“There are going to be cameras all over Orlando, so they can see exactly what we want and what we’re trying to do. So I think it’s an advantage to us to get down there and use that platform to keep the movement alive. But either way we can take a stand, and that will speak volumes as well, but I don’t think we have a big enough platform (without resuming the season).”
The NBA is considered to be one of the most progressive professional sports leagues in the world and have allowed its players to voice their opinions, and it is expected they will be vocal once play does resume.
While some players will choose to sit out to focus on advocating for social reform, Green will be in Orlando using television and media interviews to get his message across to the masses.
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