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Haynes: Some NBA Players Disappointed About Lack of Vote on Season

COVID-19 and ongoing protests are key issues of contention.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Not all NBA players are comfortable with the timing, or even the thought, of resuming the 2019-20 season. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, a “significant number” of players are expressing disappointment about not being able to vote on the restart plans for Orlando, Florida this July. Among the reasons cited are participation in the movement for racial justice and the health risks of COVID-19.

The unease about relocating to a quarantined campus during the COVID-19 pandemic was already viewed as hazardous and unnecessary to many players. But because of the George Floyd tragedy and the powerful movement for racial justice that’s sweeping the nation, some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden, sources said.

“What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time?” a black player 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.”

Along with these critical issues, players are expressing discontent that they were not allowed to vote on the plan individually. Haynes explains that the NBPA board of representatives is charged with communicating with each player to get feedback, but making person-to-person connections is difficult. The union has no formal voting mechanism in place that would cover all 450 NBA players.

Yesterday Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN chronicled similar concerns.

The NBA is expected to allow players to opt out of the season if desired, with no disciplinary measures incurred. Players would not be paid for games missed.

The 2019-20 NBA season is scheduled to resume July 31st with 22 teams participating on the Disney campus in Orlando, Florida.