The NBA, along with the MLB and MLS, believe that they’ll be back to action sooner rather than later thanks to their coronavirus contingency plans involving Disney/ESPN’s “Wide World of Sports Complex” in Orlando, Florida.
These leagues hope that the isolated-yet-consolidated versions of their 2020 seasons in The Sunshine State will keep the risk of COVID-19 to a minimum, while still providing at-home sports fans with something to watch. Of course, as Florida’s coronavirus cases spike, this could be nothing more than wishful thinking.
Should the NBA actually return, however, it will arrive with a heavy message in tow.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are planning to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the court inside both sidelines in all three arenas the league will use at the Walt Disney World Resort when it resumes the 2019-20 season late next month in Orlando, Florida, league sources told ESPN.
The WNBA is also discussing painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court when it begins its abbreviated 2020 season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, sources said.
Morant apologizes for anti-police jersey post
Sources also said some WNBA players have suggested in talks with league higher-ups that players wear warm-up shirts with “Say Her Name” on them in an attempt to keep attention on female victims of police brutality, including Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in March in her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Black Lives Matter has been controversially intertwined with professional sports for years, beginning with the anthem-kneeling protests made popular by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
NFL fans had mixed reactions to Kaepernick’s protests, and the ensuing drama led to several years of fiscal trouble for the once-storied league. One can only imagine that the NBA could face a similar backlash.
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