As the NBA prepares to make its long-awaited return, players including Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley have vocalized their concerns over the league's resumption in Orlando, Fla.
Irving raised eyebrows when he reportedly told his fellow players, "I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the [expletive]. … Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up."
On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent events that have shed a light on the racial injustices in the country have caused many players to become skeptical about the league resuming in a "bubble" next month in Orlando. On the latest episode of The Enes Kanter Show, the Boston Celtics center addressed rumors of players not wanting to play and discusses whether the league can balance basketball with social justice.
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"There's so many quotes out there, there's so many rumors out there ... you look at some of the players, they just signed their max contract, they have the biggest shoe deal out there, they live in the biggest market ... but you cannot just be selfish. You've got to think about other players too. Be a leader," Kanter said.
"I understand about the social justice ... you're going to be in Orlando. The whole world is going to be focusing on you, right? You can make a huge difference. All the microphones will be on your face, so you can get your message out. Whatever you want to talk about, 'Black Lives Matter,' freedom, justice, democracy. Whatever you want to talk about, the whole world will be listening to you.
"If you're really about that life, go to the playoffs and take that money, and donate it back to 'Black Lives Matter Foundation' or just give back to the community. Don't just say stuff."
Also discussed on the show: What the C's have been working on since returning to practice, what it will be like to share a hotel with opposing teams, whether Kanter will support teammates who choose not to play, and much more. You can listen and subscribe to The Enes Kanter Show here.