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NBA players threaten to cancel season in protest, cite ‘systematic racism’ as reason

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The NBA’s plan to restart its 2019-2020 season next month in Orlando is facing pushback from black players who believe it’s contingent on them to pull a Colin Kaepernick and hijack the game by making it about something it’s not.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, during a conference call with over 80 other NBA players this Friday, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets expressed concerns that restarting basketball would distract Americans from the ongoing discussion over systemic racism in law enforcement, which for the record isn’t real.

I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls–t. Something smells a little fishy,” he reportedly said.

Look (*Language warning)

ESPN reported that the call also included “several players suggesting they’d be willing to sit out the season — and numerous more discussing social issues, league economics and, ultimately, a sense that they needed to be united in a decision.”

Once we start playing basketball again, the news will turn from systemic racism to who did what in the game last night,” another conference participant said in a statement to the outlet. “It’s a crucial time for us to be able to play and blend that and impact what’s happening in our communities.”

“We are asking ourselves, ‘Where and how can we make the biggest impact?’ Mental health is part of the discussion too, and how we handle all of that in a bubble.”

There’s a certain irony to multimillionaire athletes expressing fears about being in a bubble, given as their inclination toward turning sports into a social/political issue suggests that they’re already out-of-touch elitists residing in a bubble.

A Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted two years ago found that a 53 percent majority of Americans opposed NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to make a social/political statement.

However, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted this month seems to suggest a change in attitude amid George Floyd’s death.

“In the wake of nationwide demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter and similar protests, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, now agree that it is ‘OK for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings of African Americans,'” Yahoo News reported Thursday.

It’s not clear though that this 52 percent would also agree with the NBA just canceling an entire season of basketball to draw attention to so-called “systemic racism,” especially since the NBA’s top stars themselves are reportedly itching to get back on the court.

“In mid-May, Chris Paul [of the Oklahoma City Thunder] organized a call that included LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook, and that call resulted in a collective commitment to continuing the season once it was deemed safe,” CBS Sports notes. “Those are some pretty powerful voices.”

Indeed, though so are the voices of everyday Americans, many of them black (*Graphic language warning):

It doesn’t help that Irving’s concerns about systemic racism and social justice are rooted in lies, the chief one among them being that Floyd’s death was the result of racism. No evidence has emerged to bolster this dubious narrative.

The evidence makes it clear his death was the result of police brutality driven by lousy policing and poor police oversight by Democrat political leaders.

The narrative that’s been adopted by Irving isn’t just a false one but a dangerous one as well.

“The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency,” Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute notes. “The pattern may be repeating itself. Officers are being assaulted and shot at while they try to arrest gun suspects or respond to the growing riots.”

“Police precincts and courthouses have been destroyed with impunity, which will encourage more civilization-destroying violence. If the Ferguson effect of officers backing off law enforcement in minority neighborhoods is reborn as the Minneapolis effect, the thousands of law-abiding African-Americans who depend on the police for basic safety will once again be the victims.”

Vivek Saxena

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