NBA Players Create Questions by Boycotting Games

Now that NBA players are getting ready to resume the rest of the 2019-2020 campaign after boycotting games the past few days, let’s examine how they can be better at fighting racial injustice.

First of all, I’m against racial injustice and police brutality. However, skipping games and thinking about canceling the rest of the season is not the right way to go.

Adam Silver has been arguably the best commissioner of all-time with how he allows players to be themselves and voice their thoughts on social issues.

It would be wrong to forgo the remainder of the season after Silver and the entire NBA took the time to make sure players will be healthy and safe inside the bubble(s) in Orlando, Florida.

It’s not like Silver is a racist or stands up for violent cops. If he was, then players should feel the need to skip the season.

A Different Idea

Secondly, a bigger and more effective idea would be if players got more involved with cities and towns across the United States.

You never hear about players going to a random town and holding a secured meeting between themselves, civilians, and police departments. This would allow people to unite and voice their concerns about the community they live in.

That is more effective than just skipping NBA games or kneeling during the national anthem.

I know players get involved with different communities, whether it’s donating food or helping kids get school supplies athletes across the entire sports landscape have been positive influences.

However, they need to do more if they want to help eliminate racial injustice.

Boycotting and Expectations

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m confused at how skipping games will impact a large community who are being negatively affected by racist cops.

With that being said, after postponing Wednesday’s slate of NBA playoff games, it was announced on Thursday that the NBA will resume its season on Saturday.

So, what was the point of that really brief boycott?

I understand players wanted NBA owners to do more to combat injustice and help with police reform and voting.

But, what were they expecting to happen exactly and how much time should owners get to achieve the best possible results?

Who is telling players to boycott and what is their exact level of thinking? Are players educating themselves enough when thinking about protesting?

I’m just trying to get a better level of understanding here, because like I said I’m a bit confused.

League Statement

According to a statement by NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:

1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches, and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.

2. In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID.  If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.

3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.

With that being said, it takes time to create a huge impact based on the ideas agreed upon above.

Yes, voting and getting better police departments should be priorities, but NBA owners can’t control voters. They can’t force police departments to comb through their officers and pluck out the bad eggs.

Putting the Pieces Together

For NBA, MLB, or other leagues’ players to skip games or get disgusted at owners is out of line.

Especially, since NBA players and owners only agreed to police reform and voting. How much can an NBA owner influence my decision to get to a polling place?

What if someone isn’t an NBA fan? How does the word of the NBA reach that person?

By the way, how come players didn’t boycott games back when Trayvon Martin got killed in 2012? Or when Eric Garner was murdered in 2014?

Again, I’m trying to put the pieces together and figure out why players and teams are just now postponing games so they protest.

And if you’re going to protest games, shouldn’t it be for the whole season? Wouldn’t that mean more if you’re going to skip games?

I don’t think NBA players should skip games, because it’s their job to play basketball. Most of us need to work and if people are counting on us to show up, shouldn’t we proceed with doing our jobs?

The Great Escape

In the case of NBA players, fans need an escape, and watching them play helps us relax. And it helps us forget about the negative things going on in the world for a second.

The NBA has promoted positive change by having “Black Lives Matter” being placed on the court and letting players wear “Peace”, “Say Her Name”, and other messages to promote change.

Yes, things need to change, but there are better ways to go about creating a new wave of improvement.

The NBA should try to help people, but it seems as if players expect the owners to have the power to tell police departments to act right when in reality owners can only do so much.

If players want a huge change to occur, then they’ll have to do more as well. No question about it.

The Bottom Line

As a side note, I think some players across the sports landscape are only protesting because other people are doing it and they like the attention.

When you look back at the joint statement by the NBA and NBAPA, couldn’t the players have met with the owners to discuss police reform and voting instead of sitting out games?

I don’t think players should tell owners how to combat racism, because not everyone has enough information or understand how to protest.

This just feels rushed and it feels thrown together when you look at the skipping of games. And also the final decisions made by both the owners and players.

Yes, you can point to some protests and say, “Well that doesn’t look effective. These groups of people should have done this or tried that.” But, we can’t hate or get furious with owners. They probably could have done more, but then again they are giving players a platform and they cannot read the minds of players.

Can owners ask the players what they do in the community and how they represent the NBA brand whether it’s for better or worse?

Again I’m just asking questions because not everyone is truly perfect when trying to create positive change. There are plenty of ways to protest and beat racism.

Final Thought

I think for the most part players in the NBA and other sports leagues want positive change. And they want to eradicate police brutality as well as racism.

All in all, the most important thing is that there are people who want to work to defeat the ills that derail society today.

Dear NBA players and owners, I appreciate that you both are creating a dialogue and are trying to help people. This country and the world need that.

Do you believe athletes need to do a better job protesting? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Fiuza on Twitter @MakinItBig1

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Anthony Fiuza
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