Kyrie Irving held a conference call with a number of players to express his opposition to the NBA season restart.
Some could argue it’s reasonable to think, “Why in the world is there all of a sudden resistance to the NBA’s restart plan this late in the negotiations, after much of it was made public over the last couple of months?” However, there’s no reason to criticize and publicly call out NBA players who feel protesting racism and social injustice should be put ahead of basketball.
But that’s what we’ve seen. For all Kyrie Irving is — we know he’s a bit of a headache when it comes to speaking with the media, in addition to the reports suggesting he’s contributed to fracturing locker rooms — calling him out for standing up for what he feels is right, ESPECIALLY when he won’t be even playing, is creating an argument for all the wrong reasons.
What’s even worse is that major sports media personalities are doing this, and it’s quite damaging.
Stephen A. Smith went on one of his usual rants and seemingly combated all of the positive, progressive messages he’s expressed since George Floyd’s murder. That honestly was a bit surprising.
What wasn’t surprising, though? Kendrick Perkins sticking his nose into yet another hot button issue just to be a contrarian in some way.
Do we really think Kyrie Irving is upset that he can’t go to Disney World, per what Perkins has “heard.” Or is it somewhat legitimate that he feels it’s more important for the world’s most influential black athletes to continue the fight and protest against racism, social injustice and discrimination rather than finish up a basketball season in fantasy land?
Arguments against systemic racism and social injustice ignore the ethos of and cries for help from the Black Lives Matter movement, and seemingly shrug off the reality that people are genuinely asking fellow human beings for a helping hand. Do we really think people are just protesting to protest? Millions are taking to the streets because they just feel like it?
Floyd’s death was a tipping point for a multitude of reasons — ones that we do not to expand upon. We don’t need to compare sitting out an NBA season to looting a community or being a petulant child.
Taking aim at players like Irving, whether you think their argument/stance is timely or not, who are willing to sacrifice their paycheck to continue standing up for what’s right is the exact discourse the world does not need right now.