It’s easy to want to pooh-pooh Kyrie Irving.
After all, he’s the guy who made news when he said the Earth was flat — and was serious about it.
He was also the same guy who said, “the hoopla about Christmas. I don’t really get into that. I don’t really necessarily think of Christmas as a holiday.”
Irving also demanded a trade away from LeBron James in Cleveland after winning a title with him.
So we get it. Irving hasn’t always made complete sense or been an ideal messenger.
Enter some NBA players not wanting to finish the season in light of all the protesting and social unrest.
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Irving, the star guard for the Brooklyn Nets, is clear. He doesn’t buy into resuming the season in late July in the Orlando bubble. Irving is concerned that the NBA playoffs will serve as a distraction from the movement that has started in this country after the world watched in horror the murder of George Floyd by a white cop in Minneapolis.
Here, Irving has a point. It’s both valid and important when you consider where we are in the world.
On the grand scale, the basketball season doesn’t mean much. This time, this moment could finally change the country and its treatment of black and brown people for the better. Those that want to cease this opportunity aren’t wrong.
“I don’t support going into Orlando,” said Irving on a conference call with around 80 players, reportedly. “I’m not with the systematic racism and bull——. Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as Black men every day we wake up.”
Irving is so serious about this point in American history that he reportedly told his fellow NBA brothers that he was “willing to give up everything I have” for social reform.
He isn’t alone. Lakers center Dwight Howard, who has a legit shot as his first title in his career, offered his support in a statement to CNN.