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Monday night's ESPN special on the return-to-play plans around sports gave NBA commissioner Adam Silver an opportunity to respond to recent reports Kyrie Irving and other players may sit out of the league's scheduled resumption in Disney World next month.

Silver addressed several angles involved, as there are various reasons for why players have voiced their concerns. He touched on safety amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as the players' concern over racial injustice in the United States.

On the topic of player safety, Silver pointed to the league's plan to allow players to opt-out of going to Orlando.

"I can only say that it may not be for everyone. It will entail an enormous sacrifice on behalf of those players and everyone involved," he said.

"Listen, it's not an ideal situation. We're trying to find a way to our own normal in the middle of a pandemic and in the middle of a recession, or worse with 40 million unemployed. And now, enormous social unrest in the country. As we work through these issues, I can understand why players may feel that it's not for them." 

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In order to opt out, players will have to forfeit their salary. There is no further discipline, however, in the way of additional fines or suspensions.

As for criminal justice and societal issues, Silver presented an argument for the league's platform and how he thinks players could help the cause by being part of basketball's return.

 

"I think in terms of social justice issues, it will be an opportunity for players and the greater community to draw attention to these issues because the world's attention will be on the NBA in Orlando, FL if we're able to pull this off," he said.

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Silver added the league will host a speaker series at the Disney World campus for players to learn more about related issues. He wants to find ways the NBA can help further the conversation.

But will it be enough to get the players fully on-board?

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