(SP) – NBA players are banning together to hold a “Day Without NBA Stars” to raise awareness of the plight of good basketball players who are physically and mentally drained by the long NBA season. The one-day protest will see NBA stars sit on the bench for an entire NBA game.
“Last summer at the ESPYs, myself, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony called athletes to stand up for what they think is important,” said James. “On the ‘Day Without NBA Stars,’ we are standing up to draw attention to the need to conserve our energy for the playoffs. Although I guess we are literally sitting down.”
“Day Without NBA Stars” follows the recent one-day protests “Day Without Immigrants” and “A Day Without a Woman.” The NBA players’ initiative will have some crossover as stars such as Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kristaps Porzingis are all immigrants. Also, Warriors star Draymond Green, who also plans to sit, made the point that “anyone who has had their testicles ruptured when I kicked them in the crotch is essentially a woman now, or at least no longer a man.”
The “Day Without NBA Stars” is also being backed by two of the league’s most politically active coaches in Golden State’s Steve Kerr and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who both support giving their stars rest.
“We are lucky to have a platform to speak out about issues that matter to us,” said Kerr. “I want to have that platform into the NBA Finals, too, but I don’t think we’ll make it that far if our players are too worn down.”