Dwight Howard has released a public statement explaining his position on the NBA resuming its season in Orlando, saying that he and others who have expressed concerns "are not attempting to halt the resumption of the basketball season in Orlando." Instead, Howard and others who have spoken up are hoping to use this opportunity to place the focus on the nationwide protests caused by the death of George Floyd.
"Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency on the things that concern us collectively," Howard said in a statement shared by the Athletic's Shams Charania. "Many of our fellow players are afraid to voice their concerns and are continuing to follow along with what they believe they have to."
Lakers' Dwight Howard in statement to @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency...Many of our fellow players are afraid to voice their concerns and are continuing to follow along with what they believe they have to." pic.twitter.com/dfTlSPBwpV— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2020
Howard also addressed Kyrie Irving, who has been the leading voice in opposition to the season resuming. The Lakers center defending Irving, as the Nets point guard has been criticized by the media, fans, and former players.
"As radical as Kyrie may sound, he is 100% correct. We are no longer slaves, so every man has a right to transparency in order to make sound decisions," Howard said. "And as Avery [Bradley] said, in the decision we make, be sure we are thinking of everyone collectively and not moving based off of selfish agendas."
What is not yet clear is whether or not Howard will be joining the Lakers in Orlando and the deadline to opt-out is coming quickly, as the NBA has told players they must notify their teams by June 24 if they are not going to Orlando.