ORLANDO – Andre Iguodala addressed how NBA players are dealing with issues of racial injustice and social inequality.
Iguodala said, “Just doing our part. It’s not all going to happen in one day. Letting our communities know that we stand with them and using our platform, raising money, or making our own platforms, there are a myriad of things that have been in discussions.”
Iguodala said these conversations have been ongoing.
Iguodala said, “I think that’s the most beautiful part of this situation that guys have been able to express themselves and you know, there was at one point a fear about how an athlete was able to express his feelings. We’ve seen it and heard it recently with ‘shut up and dribble.‘”
Iguodala said players have reached a point where they can both reap the benefits of their talents and to use it to help bring change within what’s happening inside their communities.
The issues of social justice have come to a head recently with video released of police shooting Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Several players have spoken out about the incident, as did Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
Iguodala said that he wasn’t able to get through the entire video of Blake, because it was too upsetting.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra said it is challenging to focus on basketball with all of the recent incidents.
The Heat have had team discussions about what’s going on.
Spoelstra said, “When I saw the video, I wanted to make sure that I forced myself to watch it several times... The issue is clearly still here. There needs to be some kind of reform or change. The discussions have moved forward. There’s slowly starting to be a recognition that there’s a system with racism.”
Spoelstra said none of the Heat players and coaches can wrap their minds around what’s going on.
He encouraged reform on the police training level.
Spoelstra said he and the team addressed the importance of voting.
Spoelstra said he sent the video to as many people as possible and wanted them to watch it.
Spoelstra said “If there is this excuse of fatigue, that’s when we need to push through even more.”
As for a potential boycott, Spoelstra said the team did discuss ongoing conversations between the Celtics and Raptors.
Iguodala attends those meetings and gives briefings to the Heat about them.
As far as the Heat are concerned, Spoelstra said there has not been any talks of boycott.
The Celtics and Raptors will meet again Wednesday night.