Before the NBA even considered the restart, players had mixed reactions to it. One big half of the league thought that the restart is too insensitive. They said that it didn’t consider the gravity of what’s happening in the country. On the other side, players thought that the league could be a platform for change.
The second half adds that restarting the league will provide more help than damage. The players committed that the league will not be a distraction. Instead, it will serve as a way for the country and the world to pay attention to the social problems in the country.
True enough, they followed through. They plastered social justice messages on their jerseys and wore accessories that accentuated their call for justice. Also, they kneel during the U.S. national anthem, which doesn’t sit well for President Trump.
‘Taking a knee’ has been symbolical ever since Colin Kaepernick made the gesture back in 2016. It became so big of a controversy that he lost his job because of it. Ever since then, ‘taking a knee’ has been the latest representation of a peaceful protest against racial injustice.
“I think it’s disgraceful. We work with [the NBA]. We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open. And then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game.”
Trump adds that as soon as he turns off the TV, NBA ratings plummet because he’s not watching anymore. There is no truth to this statement. Viewership in the NBA saw a spike ever since it restarted. Ratings are also expected to go up once the Playoffs kick in.
Players in the NBA have been vocal with their stance against social injustice. The most visible one has been Kyrie Irving. He’s donated so much to the cause even though he isn’t playing in the bubble. Several other players have also shared their thoughts on the matter. JJ Redick himself said,
“I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball.”
Image from NBA/ YouTube thumbnail
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