Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard appeared on ESPN’S Sports Center on Sunday evening, to respond to Kyrie Irving’s opposition to restarting the 2019-2020 NBA season and the social unrest around our country and the world.
Lillard followed a guest spot by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who stated that he thinks the NBA’s return can be a much need break from all that is happening and that it be a bold and powerful platform for players to push for change because the whole world will be watching.
The Blazer’s star guard them came on said that he understands Kyrie Irving’s standpoint and that while the players have a responsibility to stand with their people in the black community, and that it will be hard to play to their full capabilities with all of this on their hearts and shoulders, finishing the season is important. He spoke too about how players can use their platforms to further the BLM movement.
While Lillard said, he wasn’t sure about how safe it was to play, that it was worth the risk to play because players also have the responsibility to take care of their families and communities financially.
“I don’t feel 100% comfortable, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Like I mentioned earlier, this is what we do, this our job, and this is how we take care of our families. And also like I mentioned earlier, this is my way for providing for communities, impacting my community. To play the game I love, to resume the season, you know I guess that is a risk I am willing to take.”
Lillard has been very active during this period of unrest, speaking out about what has and is happening. He released a single, Blacklist as a powerful commentary on his perception of current events.