The majority of players and coaches believe that the NBA restart is more than just a game. They believe that the restart can be used as a platform to push forward change in society. The NBA itself has taken major steps towards messaging drives.
It has allowed players to choose from 29 phrases or words to drive home their initiatives on certain social issues. Some include ‘black lives matter,’ ‘education,’ and ‘equality.’ While the initiative looks good, Charles Barkley thinks that the NBA is missing the point.
Barkley has always been known for his hot takes on the NBA. He takes an unorthodox stance in most debates with his co-panel Shaq on Inside the NBA. This time, he thinks that the NBA and its players are entirely missing the point on the social issues in society.
His comments largely revolve around the frivolity that the NBA is focusing on. He said,
“Instead of talking about racial equality, racial justice and economic justice, we spend all our time worrying about who’s kneeling and not kneeling, what things are being said on buses, what’s being said on jerseys. I think we’re missing the point.”
He adds that the main focus of the NBA should be real societal change. First and foremost, there must ‘police reform and prison reform,’ he said. His stance on the matter isn’t completely negative. However, he believes that the NBA is turning into a circus with all that’s happening in the league.
Both the Los Angeles Lakers superstars will not change their surnames into any social justice message. Lebron James said,
“It’s no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
James’ stance is somewhat similar to Barkley’s. Both NBA greats think that the issue goes beyond what social justice messages were given to players to choose from. James would have wanted to be in the group that decided on the messages. However, he will continue to fight for what he believes in.
On the other hand, Anthony Davis just wants to preserve his family name on his back. He cherishes the idea that his last name carries with the people who have been with him from day one of his career.
Image used courtesy of s_bukley/Shutterstock
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