Dwight Howard believes the focus should be on activism not an NBA return.
”I agree with Kyrie. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in the statement. “Sure it might not distract us the players, but we have resources at hand majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction can start a trickle-down effect that may never stop.”
The Lakers center is on a team that’s sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings. The Lakers are the betting favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA Finals. However, Howard is willing to sacrifice winning his first NBA championship as he believes there is a greater victory on the line.
“I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just [too] beautiful to pass up,” Howard added. “What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families. This is a rare opportunity, that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of.
When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families. This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family! European Colonization stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves.”
Before stepping onto the basketball court, Howard wants to see change.
The NBA continues to see players speak out against participating in the NBA restart. A setup where a player may have to spend up to three months away from their family while putting their livelihood at risk to play basketball during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The league is predominately comprised of black players with all 22 participating teams in the restart having white owners. Essentially, the players would be putting their health at risk to make money for owners who are working remotely. This mentality would drive the nation backward, a player told Yahoo’s, Chris Haynes.
Through Howard’s eyes, this is a moment in history where players can use their platform to change systemic racism.
”No basketball till we get things resolved,” Howard said.