A players union led by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is aiming to deflect the NBA season restart in Orlando over concerns that the competition return will overshadow the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Joining Irving in fronting the players alliance is Lakers guard Avery Bradley, who stated the coalition is aimed to be a voice for players who “fear retribution if they openly voice their concerns’’ in regard to racial inequity.
According to ESPN, close to 40 players took part in a conference call in the last few days to discuss the circumstances.
Irving questioned the timing of the NBA’s return, with the 2019/20 season set to return in mid-July with just 22 sides competing.
“We will not just shut up and play,” the union said in a statement released to ESPN.
In a Nets players group chat, Irving reportedly opened the idea of starting their own league.
Irving and fellow Nets star Kevin Durant have been ruled out of the seasons restart, leaving the 7th-placed side’s chances of postseason success bleak.
Irving was also told he would not be part of the Orlando bubble while being listed as an injured player, with the traveling camps limited to 35 members.
While Irving’s concerns lay with the possible distraction from the Black Lives Matter movement, many other stars of the league are unsettled not having family members and partners with them in Orlando.