Avery Bradley: NBA Players Coalition Wants Plan for Black Causes Before Restart

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 01: Avery Bradley #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on March 01, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Speaking on behalf of a players coalition, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley indicates he wants the NBA and those around the league to “detail a plan on issues of importance to the black community before the NBA’s restart in Orlando,” according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bradley provided a statement on his aims:

“Regardless of how much media coverage will be received, talking and raising awareness about social injustice isn’t enough. Are we that self-centered to believe no one in the world is aware of racism right now? That as athletes, we solve the real issues by using our platforms to speak?

“We don’t need to say more. We need to find a way to achieve more. Protesting during an anthem, wearing T-shirts is great, but we need to see real actions being put in to the works.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium shared a statement from the league to all 30 teams that addressed the coalition’s concerns:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

NBA has informed all 30 teams of this entering 2019-20 resumption: “A central goal of our season restart will be to utilize the NBA’s platform to bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice…” https://t.co/qfrRms88Hi

The NBA announced June 4 its Board of Governors approved a plan to resume the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Twenty-two teams would travel to Orlando for eight regular-season games prior to a traditional 16-team postseason.

While fans were understandably excited by the development, the last few days have illustrated how far the plan is from becoming a reality.

According to the Miami Herald‘s Michelle Marchante, the Florida Department of Health said it had confirmed 2,783 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, the state’s highest-ever for a single day.

In addition to the health of the players and NBA personnel making the trip to Disney, some have wondered how the league’s possible return would impact the ongoing protests across the country. Demonstrators have gathered to demand reforms addressing systemic racism and police brutality.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Kyrie on call with players: “I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform),” per @ShamsCharania https://t.co/nSlWOl7Bkm

Jill Martin @ByJillMartin

Dwight Howard statement, provided by his agent, to CNN: https://t.co/sk9uSSHlpp

Wojnarowski and Andrews reported Monday a coalition including Bradley and Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was seeking input from league offices, owners, team management and the players’ union about concrete steps that would be taken toward social activism.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Avery Bradley helped organize a Lakers-wide social media post recently: “If you ain’t wit us, we ain’t wit you.”
The message was intended “for all those who have more financial power than us, but aren’t taking a bigger stance when our community needs you,” Bradley tells ESPN. https://t.co/C0bH2FJtyu

Tuesday’s report, for example, stated the coalition is emphasizing a need to increase the diversity in NBA front offices. Wojnarowski and Andrews noted the league has eight black general managers but only four of that group has the final say on basketball-related matters.

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