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Why Play?

The NBA players have decided to resume play of the 2020 Playoffs following two days of powerful protest and game boycotts. There might be some people out there who want to be critical of this decision or don’t understand why they would resume play. Here’s my take:

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Why Play?


Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The NBA players have decided to resume play of the 2020 Playoffs following two days of powerful protest and game boycotts. There might be some people out there who want to be critical of this decision or don’t understand why they would resume play. Here’s my take:

The NBA is maybe the single greatest source of black wealth in this country.

To completely abandon the rest of the season would actually be counter-productive to the cause of racial justice, in my opinion. The entire CBA would get ripped up because the NBA would lose over $1 Billion during the Finals alone and the players would then have to cede money, and more importantly power, back to the (predominately white) owners.

Not only that, but if the season stops its news for a cycle or two and then it goes away and all of the men in that bubble lose their platform. The “shut up and dribble” crowd would immediately dismiss them for “taking their ball and going home,” ironic as that would be. But by screwing up broadcasting for a couple of nights with their protest, and forcing the conversation, they used their platform wisely and left themselves the option to do it again. If the season ends, so does their biggest bargaining chip. They proved how much power they rightfully have by just seeing how other leagues followed suit.

Lastly, we need to stop this notion that NBA and WNBA players are “overpaid athletes” like that somehow negates their opinions.

For starters, they make a fair percentage of what their industry brings in organically. The money George Hill or Doc Rivers makes doesn’t come at the expense of middle-class workers like the Owners money does, or at the expense of tax-payers like the politicians who are too busy shouting like crazy people into empty convention halls right now. But more importantly, as we’ve seen time and time again, they still live the Black Experience in America, and no one should get to tell them how to react to that.

I respect the hell out of these men and women for the actions they took, and I respect the hell out of them for not wanting to give up any of the power they struggled so long to achieve. What gives you, me, or anyone other than them the right to tell grown ass men and women how they should respond in a moment like this? You’re disappointed they are deciding to continue the season?

Why aren’t you more disappointed we’re having to have this conversation in the first place?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm is a professional Sound Engineer/Designer, and amateur photographer, writer, musician who recently relocated from California to Rochester, NY. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit has made Andrew an avid fan of all things Detroit but nothing more so than his beloved Detroit Tigers. Every year he tells himself he won't drink the Lions Kool-Aid, and every year winds up heartbroken come January. A Spartan by heart, and a Golden Grizzly by degree, you can catch his (almost) weekly Hot Takes every Hump Day here at The Turf.

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