Shelburne, Wojnarowski, Chris Paul, Players Need to Understand the Financial Ramifications of Staying Home

Erik Gee

During Friday night's Zoom call over 70 other NBA players, Chris Paul was warning his fellow union members of the financial hit they could take by staying home.  Paul says players are free to make personal choices, but if they chose not to participate in the rest of the season, they would forfeit the rest of their salary.  

According to Adrain Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the NBPA is discussing if they could best use their influence to fight systemic racism by not playing. The union's Executive Director Michelle Robert says, "It's a question of, does playing again harm a movement that we absolutely, unequivocally embrace?"... "And then whether our play can, in fact, highlight, encourage, and enhance this movement." 

Several players who took part in the call on Friday are considering sitting out not just because of current social injustice; they are also not comfortable with the league's 22-team restart plan.  Others feel their voice will be more potent by choosing to play and using the NBA's platform to voice their concerns.

Since this is such a profoundly personal issue, Roberts is urging players to decide for themselves if it is appropriate to play. As of now, there is no indication that the restart is in jeopardy. 

While some players are expected to sit out, there likely won't be enough to bring the season to a halt. Players don't want the CBA voided by the force majeure, which would happen if the season were canceled.

They also don't sacrifice $645,000,000. The league's 22-team restart plan was improved by the owners 29-1 and by player representatives 28-0. 

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