A player coalition led by Nets star Kyrie Irving and Lakers guard Avery Bradley is pursuing a further examination of the league’s plan to restart the season in Orlando, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews report.
At the top of the coalition’s wish list is a commitment of resources and methods to move forward an agenda of social justice reforms.
The group also has issues with the resumption of play in Orlando’s Disney complex, including an uptick in positive coronavirus cases in Florida; the restrictive environment in the bubble, insurance for players regarding potential illnesses; and the risk of injuries during an accelerated finish.
After a conference call that included nearly 100 players voicing concerns over the restart plan on Friday, a call engineered by Irving, another conference call that included about 40 individuals was held on Monday.
A statement issued to ESPN from the group read in part:
“Native indigenous African Caribbean men and women entertaining the world, we will continue to use our voices and platforms for positive change and truth. … We are combating the issues that matter most: We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions.”
Irving, a VP in the Players’ Association, was a part of the union’s ratification vote on June 5 for the resumption of play. He’s out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
The NBA and NBPA are working on solutions in order to get as many players as possible to rejoin the 22 teams involved the restart plan this month, the ESPN duo adds.