Notable NBA Stars Who Refuse To Stand Idly By As Police Brutality Ramps Up

Led by the sometimes outlandish NBA point guard Kyrie Irving, a collection of the world’s most powerful basketball players are refusing to go back to “business as usual”. The NBA season is set to begin this summer in Florida with players and staffers having to isolate nearby. 

Why Players Are Boycotting the NBA

So why are these star athletes pushing back? George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all those who have died in police custody are the reason why. They recognized that the National Basketball Association and team owners were not doing enough to put an end to this form of brutality. In a time of so much momentum and tension, players feel that playing basketball would only serve as a distraction. According to CBS During a conference call with over 80 players, Irving reportedly said, “I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit.… something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up.” In a league that is predominantly BIPOC,  courageous athletes see that they could unify to promote change.

Michael Jordan’s Donation

Micheal Jordan, who famously has kept his politics private has been the most outspoken current NBA team owner since the protests began. Jordan received praise for donating $1 million each to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In a letter released exclusively to The Undefeated, Jordan penned “As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers…I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.” 

Donald Sterling and the NBA

Compared to the NFL’s dismal social justice record, the NBA has had a history of being accountable. Take Donald Sterling’s, the owner of the LA Clippers, and his disgraceful and deeply racist views on the world. When the tape of his disgusting anti-black slurs was brought to light, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, banned Sterling for life from any NBA facilities. Whether or not he was ousted soon enough is a different story. Had commissioner Silver not taken action, a number of players, including Andre Iguodala have stated that they would have walked out. It was this pressure that moved the National Basketball Association forward. That was 2014, six years ago.

What will come of the protest of this impressive NBA Union? The honest answer is; we will have to wait and see.

What Can We Expect Today?

As of July 2020, hundreds of NBA players are heading into training facilities to prepare for the upcoming season. Amongst that group is the world champion Toronto Raptors team who arrived in Florida with their team bus draped in the words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” replacing their logo. On, July 22nd 8 teams are scheduled to tip-off and ring in a new season of basketball.  This season is proving to be a season like no other.

According to CNET the following is a list of only a few of the notable players sitting out the restart.

  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
  • DeAndre Jordan (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Taurean Prince (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Wilson Chandler (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers) 
  • LaMarcus Aldrige (San Antonio Spurs) 
  • Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz)
  • Willie Cauley-Stein (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Avery Bradley (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
  • Davis Bertans (Washington Wizards)
  • Thabo Sefolosha (Houston Rockets)
  • Trevor Ariza (Portland Trail Blazers)