Irving-Led Coalition Details Concerns

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.

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39 thoughts on “Irving-Led Coalition Details Concerns

  1. ballcity141

    Anybody else find it problematic that the thought leader here is the same one that believes the earth is flat?

    • thatsright

      Yeah, the ONLY reason anyone why anyone cares what Kyrie says is because he’s good at basketball. Remove that and no one will listen to his nonsense.

    • drchilmrichalds

      I just want to know how much of his cheque Kyrie is sharing with his lesser paid teammates

    • bowserhound

      Nothing that Kryrie said the other day had anything to do with social justice. Suddenly it’s his movement.

      • Kyrie does not want to play basketball period, his actions over the course of a few years have shown he likes the checks but does not like basketball…if a person wants to support the movement I believe that is their prerogative and it is admirable however using social injustice as a reason not to play is beyond even the lows kyrie has previously sunk too, he has never once advocated halting play in the name of social justice he is just a rioter using the cause to push his will on people, what a loser

    • 94yankees

      I just looked up an article where he was asked about the flat earth comments and he says “ I’m actually a smart-as* individual….

  2. acarneglia

    If these guys care strongly enough about certain issues, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t be able to advocate for them off the floor

      • Perhaps you are losing sight of the emotion these guys are feeling about the sight of people from their community being killed unjustly, and tapping into the rage that has been built up for some time about many, many past transgressions.

        I am in the camp that thinks they could devise a better course of action to make a difference, but it seems they are trying to pull back, process and figure out what they should do. And it may be that “shut up and play” is precisely the sort of dismissive sentiment that raises more tensions and shows you are really not trying to understand what these guys are struggling with.

        Just some food for thought if you ever wanted to try the compassion angle for resolving conflict.

        • dynasty in boston

          I’m of the opinion that social reform and one’s occupation aren’t mutually inclusive

          • jump shot

            We all know that your comment derives from the “Shut up and dribble” racial narrative.
            To be comfortable enough to make your Shut up and Play comment shows the racism in your heart, as well, while wanting to accompany the n-word along with it, but knowing you would likely be banned in this forum if you did.

            • dynasty in boston

              You know nothing of my heart or mind. If you disagree with my opinion, fine, counter with something intelligent and coherent. Otherwise, keep the pie-hole closed

          • do you understand why they are apprehensive about being taken to a Disney resort and held there to entertain the masses? I am on board that there is plenty of paranoia and mistrust on the part of players here, and they ought to work that out. Turning away from the NBA and fellow players and their business doesn’t seem sound, but it is still possible to be aware of their reasons to hesitate and be wary of being entertainers at this time. Not to mention being wary of white folks demanding how they are to behave, act and even think in this situation.

            The gravity of standing up to racism you should expect means far less to you than these players. And being the entertainment that might be a poorly timed distraction is a legitimate concern. They need to be heard and seen, and maybe they can resolve how they can be a force for positive change. But you want the message to be shut up and play? Their occupation is a powerfully social one, and it matters. For many they realize it is their only power to influence people and they want to use it well. For social change. It’s not dumb of them and it’s understandable they want to choose their best course, even if it risks a whole lot of money. It is that important for some of these guys. But you will tell them to shut up and entertain you, forever laughing at how they were so foolish to consider denying they want your money. Can you not see how that’s not a good look for you?

            • dynasty in boston

              They’ve been heard and seen for days now. There is nothing in their behavior to suggest social justice is their Holy Grail. If the players don’t wish to play, resign. I’m sure there are other players who would be content to make millions of dollars to play a GAME.

              • jump shot

                It’s still showing… I don’t have to know you to know your heart and mind – you SHOW us all what’s there in what you’re comfortable commenting as you hide behind your keyboard.
                But it’s ok. I’m used to it. Enjoy the TBT ;)

              • When I said they need to be heard and seen, I meant that they need attention as real people struggling with serious issues that they feel need attention. Looking at them as celebrities and/or crybabies who need to start entertaining the country yesterday rather than consider committing themselves to protest in solidarity with thousands of others is precisely how this growing conflict gets worse.

                Listening for longer than you feel is convenient may be the necessary step to resolving this conflict, and this probably won’t be the first nor the last time you or many people may need to consider that advice. Actually accept the concern the other side has as legitimate, hope the relevant parties come to a resolution.

                I get there is a lot of sentiment of “oh hell am I ever bored” but I hope the extra time might allow some to practice a little more humanity and respect for fellow man, as odd as that may feel to do. If you can get good at it, you will be glad you did it.

  3. cant_teach_speed

    I’m a supporter of social justice issues and am fine with players using their platform to promote it. The play stoppage is a result of COVID, not playing because of the BLM protests is more of an organized work stoppage. Separate issues really. I understand players concerns about the optics, but nobody is getting mad at people for going to work. If they have health concerns to address, fair- but had the league been playing and George Floyd was killed the league would not have shut down. Players would be weighing in while games were played…

  4. Al Hirschen

    Kyrie Irving is the true messiah of the NBAPA he speaks the gospel and he shall deliver

  5. Lionel Muggeridge

    The season was suspended because of the virus. There’s no way the league would’ve halted things because of civil rights protests.

    • mrshyguy99

      they didnt when people were burning down LA in the 90s and they wont now.

  6. Afk711

    Forget everything else, how can anyone take glass Kyrie seriously when he won’t even be able to play during the return. Its so easy for him to say that when his team is a 5 game exit with or without him.

    • I would say this isn’t all about Kyrie at all and it’s just unfortunate that for all the context around his situation of past behaviour, current injury status, etc, that he is in a position of leadership and is bold enough not to care what people think. Where he is voicing the lead in the discussion that many more people than him are wanting to have, questioning what role the players have in leading or responding to this new call to action to highlight racism and how it affects the lives of so many people.

        • Sure, it’s only a descriptor for him and too kind of one for your taste I gather. Can describe him however you like, but this is a clear pattern where people are focused on Irving and taking shots at him while dismissing the idea that these men have a cause they want to champion in some way.

          Irving has become a convenient target who is also irrelevant to the idea that there are NBA players who want to show some form of protest and solidarity with the people affected by racism.

          There isn’t anger and confusion among these players because Kyrie Irving created it. But he wants to lead and got himself in position to do so, and here we are with people hating on that guy because he is described as the leader of the discussion. In the big picture, he is nobody special among the thousands and thousands who also want to lead protests.

          I hope some can see that.

          • x%sure

            I have been let down by Irving. But I see he is one of nine on the union exec committee. Since the leader Chris Paul is credited with helping to get the camp going, in theory someone else had to do what Irving is doing, in raising objections. If anything Irving was tardy to do it. He probably wanted camp details made public so to take advantage of inevitable dissatisfaction about them. But Silver was even more tardy! [After press for this, Woj did leak details.]

            Agree there is an odd look to the project, racially. I have advocated banning older HCs, mostly white, who are most at-risk. Also, something will be behind the benches on TV screens. There is plenty of visual space there, and behind baskets, to fill with something. I’m sure sponsors have plans to make the messages, ads.

            But there’s nothing really on-point to do about the nature of the whole thing, the “opticals”. And I’m not really a change advocate anyway, like those who say sports exploits black men (i.e. Ta-Nahisi Coates).

    • yoyo137

      Maybe it isn’t about Kyrie maybe it’s about the 5 black people who were found hung from trees in the USA this week alone

  7. mrshyguy99

    i dont get the problem here. the nba is doing all it can to make sure it safe. playing in a bubble is better than traving all around . woukdnt players want the bigger stage to talk about the issues. how is playing going to take away from it. the nba i bet wouldnt care if it a few that wont play. i bet they let replacement players come in. not like the nba shut down when la was burning in the 90s . so it not going to stop now

  8. bigeasye

    Sandy Koufax didn’t play when a world game was on a Jewish Holiday. He protested and did not go to the game out of principle. I don’t believe he asked for the entire World Series to be cancelled.
    I know this isn’t apples to apples but I think it’s reasonable for everyone to make up their own mind about playing.
    Personally as a sports fan I would love a welcome distraction from all the negativity in the world and would welcome an honest discussion and continued attention to social issues. Since it seems like baseball has lost its way, basketball players would have the ultimate spotlight to both help their cause(s) and bring the country together.
    Just my two cents.

  9. yoyo137

    I’m extremely glad that they’re doing this. This is a time in the world where people have leverage against government and workers have leverage against their employers and that extends to the NBA. There’s already the possibility of a lockout and a new CBA so why not begin negotiations now?
    One thing that’s for certain is that the NBA can’t come back as a circus act to distract the world from the ongoing and I mean ONGOING murdering of black people across this country. 9 minutes of silence and no national anthem before every game, BLM patches on jerseys, hold panels for players who would like to speak on injustice no more parading these players around like they’re robots. Just a few ideas but I want the NBA to only come back when it’s ready to change, much like the rest if the world.

  10. Simple Fan

    Tell him there’s tons of concerns. From me reading this post front up or if it was just *other* articles. I mean seriously Kyrie what zero chance?

  11. tomjoadsghost

    So now it’s out that Kyrie did this protest simply bc he couldn’t go to Disney world. Sounds right. What a clown

  12. mcmillankmm

    Why did it take a week for Kyrie to speak up on this? That’s the one thing I am wondering….especially when you consider the discussion for return began well before June 5th when it was approved….the effects of not playing could really hurt….just look at baseball right now.

  13. Skip, Tampa

    Maybe Kyrie, DH and the rest of the Clown Car can take a few minutes to read the Ed Davis interview. Pretty spot on and to the point.
    Billions and Billions of dollars are at stake. Plus the livelyhoods of thousands of people both now and in the future to consider.
    Sure would be nice to see this resolved this week.
    One way or another.
    Let’s Crown a Champion !!!

  14. implant

    So y’all saying that if Kyrie didn’t play basketball that no one would listen to him. Probably correct. Except that he does have a platform and all you losers have is a keyboard and your mommas basement. Too funny

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