Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard have been the most recognizable faces leading a movement to potentially cancel the remainder of the NBA season, and Stephen A. Smith strongly disagrees with the stance of the two star players.
Smith said on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Monday morning that he believes players sitting out the NBA season because they are concerned about taking away from social justice movements would be a huge mistake.
Certain things just don’t make any damn sense. This is one of those things…..what Kyrie and D-Howard are saying. And don’t y’all worry. I’m back on @FirstTake TODAY! Enough of folks getting away with this nonsense. Here I come! pic.twitter.com/ttR5OJ9eO7
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 15, 2020
“That’s not a reason not to show up to work,” Smith said. “The fact that racial oppression has existed — it’s going to exist after this summer, it’s going to exist next year, it’s going to exist the year after, a year from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now. Anybody in our society that thinks this thing is going to be completely eradicated is fooling themselves. You’re always going to have to deal with these things, so that is not an excuse not to show up to work to do your job. You can fight the fight while still showing up to work.”
Smith seems to agree with LeBron James, as LeBron reportedly feels he can make a difference in society while also playing basketball. Irving, Howard and others worry that resuming the NBA season will undermine George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Irving organized a conference call for players on Friday night to discuss the concerns some players have. Howard has said he thinks playing basketball would be a “distraction” at the moment, though he has not made a decision about playing.
While there have been ongoing discussions among players and between players and the league, it does not sound like the resumption of the NBA season is in jeopardy. The more likely outcome is that players will get together to decide how they want to show solidarity in supporting social justice causes.