Toronto Raptors Point Guard Fred VanVleet has been honest about the NBA restart’s “bad timing,” but is reportedly willing to play to defend the title.
Without a doubt, there are NBA players who are worried about the season’s restart in Florida come July, considering the pandemic is still on a high. There is also the fight for racial injustice that many players have been advocates to, including Fred VanVleet.
As many may have seen on the news and on several media outlets, protests emerged on the streets of the United States, following the deaths of many U.S. citizens of color. The massive cry was triggered after George Floyd died under the custody of four policemen, who apprehended him.
Many NBA players have advocated time and effort to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, while the NBA season is at a halt. However, with the organizers deciding to resume the games, some believe that it might not be the right time.
Fred VanVleet expresses about NBA restart timing
ESPN reports that VanVleet expressed the choice he had to make about returning to the NBA bubble. In a Monday conference call, the Canada player said, “It’s terrible timing. But that’s been 2020 for us.”
He then continued to express, “We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense. But life goes on. We’re all young, Black guys. None of us want to give any money back. I don’t think that we should. I think that money can be used in a number of different ways.”
He further noted that the fight for racial and social injustice, police brutality, and all of the issues looming the people of color is a “long-term” battle. “All these things are not ending anytime soon,” says VanVleet.
New ESPN story: "It's terrible timing. But that's been 2020 for us." Fred VanVleet on why he decided to play in the NBA restart, how he hopes to promote social justice while doing so and how he'll decide whether to bring his family inside the bubble: https://t.co/mtx8mblgX4
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 29, 2020
Fred VanVleet dedication in fighting for social injustice
In the same conference, VanVleet expressed that he is “doing enough” to make a change in today’s society. He admitted that he would’ve opted out on the restart if there were more of them who expressed that they didn’t want to play.
VanVleet’s statement reads:
“But if the league, or more of my guys would have come together and said we didn’t want to play, I would have sat out as well. I wouldn’t have even fought it. I think most of us decided to play. It’s something we’ll have to live with. I trust that my heart’s in the right place, and I’m doing enough to make change.”
Aside from VanVleet, there are other NBA players who have joined the BLM protests. Others have gone beyond the protest to further advocate the cause. In fact, Micky News previously reported that the former OKC star Russell Westbrook is producing a docuseries centering on the events that transpired during the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2020
Meanwhile, CBS Sports notes that Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving and LA Lakers’ Avery Bradley, among others, have decided to sit out on the NBA restart “in the name of fighting systemic racism.”
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons