The outspokenness boosted Williams’ name onto Twitter’s trending topic on Saturday (June 14) amid talks the league is plotting a 22-team takeover in Orlando come July 31.
“We are fighting for a radical change,” Williams told a follower on NBA insider Taylor Rooks’ Instagram. “Sports has been a healing factor, there we agree. In this climate…it’s a distraction. I mean look at your position. You’re dying to get back in the house and drink a beer and watch us hoop opposed to being outside fighting for your equality. That’s just one aspect to look at.”
Lou Will says basketball is a distraction in this climate pic.twitter.com/GaLIMyQVSl
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 13, 2020
According to Rooks, the loosening of coronavirus concerns has only given greater focus to social justice reform for the dormant players — highlighted by a two-hour Zoom call where racial tensions dominated the conversation.
Kyrie Irving — Brooklyn Nets star, vice president of the NBA Players Association and host of the Zoom call — reportedly was extremely vocal in sharing Williams’ sentiment resuming play would provide nothing but a safe outlet for ignoring the broader issues of racism.
Lakers center Dwight Howard and former player Stephen Jackson, the latter who was close friends with George Floyd, are also totally against playing for the time being.
Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers gained considerable traction with an alternate perspective on how the NBA could use their games to raise money and awareness for Black Lives Matter. He also didn’t totally knock the idea of sitting out in solidarity all the same.
Off the court, Williams uses Hip Hop to get his point across as well. Rapping under the name “Syx” (seeing that he’s a 3-time Sixth Man of the Year and the NBA’s all-time leader in bench scoring), he lyrically eulogized his friend, former teammate and NBA legend Kobe Bryant in February via the single “24.”
The track would shortly appear on his March 2020 EP, Syx Piece.