Kyrie Irving Reportedly Against Continuing Season in Orlando Amid Current Racial Climate (UPDATE)

The NBA confirmed last week that the 2019-20 season would return in late July, but some players are reportedly unhappy they didn't get a say in the matter.

irving driving force nba season restart

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 31: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets in action against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on January 31, 2020 in New York City. 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. Brooklyn Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls 133-118. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

irving driving force nba season restart

UPDATE 6/13, 12:34 a.m. ET: Following a phone conversation that Kyrie Irving held with other NBA players, he reportedly does not support the regular season continuing in Orlando.

Yahoo Sources: The conference call led by Kyrie Irving lasted an hour and forty minutes. The Nets star let it be known he was against going to Orlando, but said he would ultimately stand with the group if they decided to play.

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 13, 2020

See original story below:

The NBA confirmed last week that the 2019-20 season would return in late July, but some players aren't happy they didn't get a say in the matter. Yahoo! Sports reports that notable players in the league have been gathering on Zoom calls to talk about what they can do to take a stand, and Kyrie Irving has supposedly been a "driving force" in organizing the calls.

Less than a week ago, 50 players came together for a call about the decision, and they're supposedly reconvening on Friday with around 150-200 players in the call. When the season returns next month, it will do so with 22 teams and will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The season was officially postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many players have reportedly expressed their concern over restarting the season, with many unsure of the safety of it all. In these calls, some players also talked about the protests against police brutality and systemic racism sweeping the nation, believing it wouldn't be a good look to gather teams "comprised predominantly of black men" and have them restricted to one location for three months just to entertain.

Adding to Taylor's report: I'm told today's conf call could involve up to 200 players. Also hearing that Kyrie Irving has been a driving force in organizing these calls, and in raising concerns over NBA's bubble plan.

— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 12, 2020

“What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time?" one black player anonymously told Yahoo! Sports. "We’re out here marching and protesting, and yet we all leave our families in these scary times and gather to perform at a place where the owners won’t be at? What type of sense does that make? We’ll be going backwards. That place isn’t that magical."

Irving, who reportedly organized the calls, believes that players should consider not playing due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the important conversation the country is having about racial injustice. However, others have reportedly suggested that with all eyes on them, they'll be in a great position to make important statements. The National Basketball Players Association voted in agreement to restart the season, and Irving is among one of the vice presidents on the board.

Sources have added that some players aren't comfortable expressing their hesitation to play, especially since a number of high-profile players have already said they're happy to return. As per the same sources, some players have started to "educate" others on the financial impact of not playing. It's worth noting that if they don't play, they won't get paid at all, and some believe this could be a big enough deal to impact finances in future seasons, too.

Yahoo Sources: Several high profile players are communicating with their counterparts and educating them on potential negative financial impact not playing would have on the players, not just for this season but moving forward. (Cont’d)

— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) June 12, 2020

Kyle Kuzma responded to the news of some players being hesitant to the season restarting on Twitter, writing, "Some of us want to hoop and compete don’t get that twisted."

Some of us want to hoop and compete don’t get that twisted....

Jared Dudley responded and seconded Kuzma's comment. 

Facts! What time is this zoom call today! I’m on it!

See reactions to the Zoom calls below.

Kyrie: “Hear me out... we should make the NBA cancel the sea—“


— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) June 12, 2020

Kyrie watching as he ruins Lebron's chances at winning another title

— Subscribe to the You Know Ball Patreon (@TrillBroDude) June 12, 2020

I understand where Kyrie Irving is coming from. The world has never been this focused on racial injustice. Bringing the season back will dilute that progress. I miss the NBA as much as the next fan, but we have to keep this pressure to continue to enforce change. 🤷🏾‍♂️

— GOWIE (@DaKidGowie) June 12, 2020

Kyrie Irving giving off real "the worst person you know just made a good point" energy

— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) June 12, 2020

I feel what Kyrie Irving is saying in all honesty 🤷🏾‍♂️ The NBA coming back would be hugh distraction from what’s going on in the world. We are in a pivotal time and we all need to keep being aggressive and continue to stand unity if we want to see change.

— AHMAD K SMITH (@AKISNBA) June 12, 2020

Kyrie Irving is organizing calls, advocating players don't play. While he's too injured to play anyhow.

This is why we have Twitter.

— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) June 12, 2020

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