The Phoenix Suns may not be in the bubble, but Robert Sarver and several players spoke up about social justice during these trying times.
On Wednesday, started by a walkout by the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA season was in serious jeopardy. The decision to protest yet another heart-breaking shooting of a Black man by police, this time Jacob Blake just outside of Milwaukee. The Bucks’ walkout sent a powerful message around the world that police brutality against Black men and women is an absolute crisis, and some Phoenix Suns players are weighing in.
After a series of emotional and heated meetings, the players and the NBA have agreed to resume the playoffs, after all, but not without changes.
Namely, the league will:
- Immediately establish a social justice coalition composed of players, coaches, and governors.
- Offer all possible NBA arenas to the city as a voting location with the idea their vastness will help accommodate social distancing and provide a safe place to vote.
- Create ads to be played during each playoff game that focuses on encouraging greater civic engagements.
The Phoenix Suns are speaking up on social justice.
While the Phoenix Suns are no longer in the bubble, that hasn’t stopped them from speaking up in support.
Robert Sarver put out a statement, setting the tone. He said:
“While I can’t relate to what our Black players are feeling and experiencing today, I sympathize with them, listen to them, and support them. I remain personally ready, willing, and able to work side by side with our Suns, Mercury, and other WNBA and NBA players and coaches to bring about criminal justice reform.
We have done it before locally, fighting discriminatory legislation in our state and unfair sheriffing in our county, specifically advocating to defeat SB-1070 that legalized racial profiling in 2010. Together we can engage again and bring about positive change toward racial equality.”
The Sheriff Arpaio reference was unexpected, and a bit of a weird flex. but I suppose I get where he is coming from.
Players, too, joined in on the cause, including Mikal Bridges, Jevon Carter, and Jalen Lecque.
I am a little surprised we didn’t see anything (on Twitter at least) from Devin Booker or Deandre Ayton, but everyone chooses their own way to speak up. Social media might not be their jam.
I think this worked out about the best way it could have under a very difficult situation. The boycott served as a tremendous message, but by not canceling the season, the league did not forfeit the incredible platform it has to keep this issue in America’s conscious for another six weeks.