Nets' Kyrie Irving Reportedly 'Willing to Give Up Everything' for Social Reform

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 13, 2020

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, center, who is sidelined with a hip strain, watches play from the bench with forward Marcus Morris, left, during the first quarter of the team's NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

During a conference call Friday, NBPA vice president Kyrie Irving came out against resuming the NBA season, reportedly telling those on the call he was "willing to give up everything I have" to battle systemic racism in the wake of protests and unrest around the country. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported details about the call:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Kyrie Irving on players call Friday, per sources: “I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform)."

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Kyrie Irving told NBA players on call Friday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit. Something smells a little fishy."

After the NBPA previously voted 28-0 to go forward with the league's plan to restart the season at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, with 22 teams, the Brooklyn Nets star helped organize and lead a call Friday evening to discuss the merits of playing basketball at a time when social justice issues are at the forefront of the nation's consciousness. 

Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks reports the majority of the call was focused on social justice reform, though players did give some attention to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. To that end, Charania noted Donovan Mitchell, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard were among those who spoke up about "possibly sitting out" when the league restarts. 

Irving wasn't the only member of the NBPA's leadership on the call. Also on the line were union president Chris Paul and vice presidents Malcolm Brogdon, CJ McCollum and Garrett Temple. 

McCollum reportedly advised players to prepare for a "financial dip" should they chose not to play in Orlando as well as collective bargaining repercussions from the league's owners. 

According to Charania, Howard believes "playing in Orlando will become a distraction from the issues the country is facing, and that they need to unify and use this moment to create a change."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told players Thursday that those who do not want to participate in the league's restart plan are under no obligation to do so.