Players can choose to not participate in the league's return without retribution. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NBA players won't be punished for refusing to return

Last week, NBA owners and the National Basketball Players Association officially agreed to the proposed 22-team model to finish the 2019-20 season that was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As uncertainty hovers over much of the United States due to a virus outbreak that remains uncontrolled and that endangers even top-tier athletes, and also because of unrest following the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests seen in cities around the world, some players may be having second thoughts.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that a "faction" of players are questioning if living and playing at the Orlando Walt Disney World Resort bubble site is best for all involved: 

This doesn't mean fans won't see the NBA return on July 31. Wojnarowski added players who don't want to participate in the season's resumption will lose portions of their salaries but won't otherwise be disciplined:

Over the past few weeks, players around the league have taken part in protests over police violence and racial injustices. Some of the demonstrations in bigger cities became violent and destructive, and others involved clashes between protesters and police officers. 

Last week, Wojnarowski reported family members can only join players in Orlando after the first round of the playoffs. Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, those individuals will have to quarantine in Florida for seven days. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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