The toronto raptors and celtics are set to start their second round series tomorrow night, but the raptors were the first to bring up the possibility of a boycott uh. First, here is raptors fred van vleet and norm powell. Then celtics jaylen brown and marcus smart coming down here, making a choice to play. Um, you know we’re supposed to not be in vain, but it’s, just starting to feel like everything we’re doing is, is just going through the motions and nothing’s really changing, and here we are again with another. You know unfortunate incident there’s a lot of things that have been being talked about in and how to approach these. This sensitive issue um, you know – and i think everybody’s at the point of sitting up and saying black lives matter and sitting up and having these discussions and zoom calls and this and the other and putting apparel on and like that that’s, not getting the job done. Taking the knee for the anthem, that’s, not getting the job done, you know that’s it’s, starting to get you get washed out. I feel like black lives matter is just another thing in conversation now you know because we see it so much and um it’s everywhere. You know now it’s just uh in a daily conversation, you know and it’s kind of getting uh to the point where you’re not really noticing it. The raptors had a team meeting this morning they talked about the possibility of not playing frederick lee talked about.

You know, what are we willing to give up to try to you know make change. Is that anything you’ve thought about, or you guys have thought about as a group amid everything that’s going on. It was hard enough even coming down here, to be honest, but i guess that’s something that you can talk about with your team. Um for sure i haven’t talked to. We haven’t talked about that as as the celtics as art is our team, but those emotions are real like that is real. Yes, we’re athletes. Yes, we we, you know, are being paid to play a sport that we love, but we are human beings. We tried the people way kneeling. We tried to process it for us. You know we tried to come out here and uh. You know get together and play this game um and you know try to try to try to get our voice across, but it’s, not working. So you know, obviously something has to be done and right now focus shouldn’t really be on basketball. You know, i understand it’s the playoffs and everything like that, but we still have a bigger issue that underlying issues that’s going on and and the things that we try. Haven’T been working, so you know we definitely need to take a different approach. I really feel for these guys in the situation yeah. What do you think of this uh? Well, for me, you know, like i was saying, everybody’s motivated for different reasons to play ball right now, some people it’s for money, some people it’s for the love of the game.

Some people are putting their lives at risk to be playing and they’re doing it to fight for injustice for their community. Why would you want to play somewhere where you’re clearly not being heard you’re clearly not being respected, and i know it’s unfair because it’s, you know one police officer that shot jacob blake and now an entire community is going to feel it. But i like the idea of a boycott because, historically, when you affect money, you create change. When you sacrifice you create change and you got to take it up a notch because kneeling protesting peacefully rioting, i mean we’ve, seen it all and it took complete chaos, utter destruction and violence to ensue for george floyd to even get anywhere with it like for us To even charge anyone it took complete destruction and i’m, not saying that’s the route that we need to go. I do agree with peacefully protesting, but boycotting is a huge gesture and if i’m, a player and i’m passionate about these causes, i don’t want to play. I don’t want to you know, help fund and pay. I don’t want to be a part of any of that, and also there’s just such a lack of police, accountability, um and i’m. Just tired of police investigating their friends. I don’t understand because police are supposed to serve and protect all citizens but they’re killing citizens. So i think that federally and independently that needs to be investigated, no matter what at all times, so that it can be a thorough investigation and justice can be brought.

But in this circumstance i mean i would do the same thing i wouldn’t want it. I wouldn’t want to play because clearly, no one’s, listening that’s, the only way people listen is when money gets affected yeah. I i i’ll tell you just as a fan um. You know there’s a lot that i love about basketball, but the one thing that i have no interest in watching is: i don’t want to see somebody play the game if their heart is not on the court and and we’ve seen protests before and boycotts before. For things like the olympics on a much larger scale – and i i don’t want to – i don’t – want fred van fleet to feel like he has to play um if he’s, if his heart’s not there and – and i love the guy and i love the raptors um, I don’t want them to boycott as a fan. I really don’t, but i fully understand if they do and if they take it right to the end, they take it right to the end. If he never plays another game of basketball again, you know i’m, you you support him, because you want the guy to be at his best and if right now his mind is elsewhere and his heart is elsewhere, you can’t do anything other than just support. Yeah shell says: i think they should it’s that important, lindsay, says: they’ve got huge platforms and they’re using them to demand justice.

Nobody can fault them for that, it’s, commendable and yeah. I agree it’s really up to them. If they want a boycott, it doesn’t. You know matter to me if they boy caught it out, it’s really up to their own mental health, but i think this really comes down to these guys mental health and what they’re going through, like i don’t think we really get what these guys are going through. Being in this bubble, like they made this choice to go to this bubble, not only was the black lives matter, you know situation happening they’re, leaving their families in the middle of this corona virus crisis. So we talked about that when the kids did the surprises for toronto raptors, how much that must weigh on them too. The fact that their loved ones are home, caring for the kids they’re, not there for the kids. So this really has a drain on these players. I’M sure – and i will say i do think it has been great that they have played, i think it has them wearing t shirts on their jerseys them talking about it after every single game, they use every single press conference to talk about it, so i think They have used their platform really well. I think they don’t even know that, because they’re in this bubble, i don’t think they realize that it really has it’s got a lot of coverage, so i yeah i just want to give them that kind of uh sentiment that i think it has made a difference.

What they’ve done – and i get their frustration that they’re in this bubble – and you know the reality is like? Are you going to change this one racist cops idea in wisconsin by by you know playing basketball? No, of course, that’s not going to make a difference, but i think they are making a difference, and i don’t want them to get disheartened that they’re having no effect whatsoever – and i will say this – the nba has done an incredible job, both with black lives matter And the bubble in general um, you know i want the raptors to be able to, you, know, see their families, and i know that if they win this series, their families get to come down into the bubble. So, like i want that to happen, i think the nba has done a great job um, but you know there’s a lot of people who you know: basketball and the raptors, especially during covid and that’s, the only thing that they have to look forward to right now. So, like i said, you know if they do boycott, i fully support them, but i just hope they don’t yeah and – and i i get that from a fan’s perspective that you want to watch the game. I totally get it, but fans have gone months without having any games with kovid, um and that’s. Just the sacrifice you have to take. If that’s your belief, i think that i i’m i’m pro boycott and i know i’m, not a huge nba fan, but i just feel like it.

Doesn’T make sense to dribble a ball up and down a court if you were just crying earlier after seeing what happened to jacob blake, i just don’t think that’s fair and i think that they should do what they need to do to set the bar moving forward And i just want to say without dropping names there are. I have a lot of friends that are athletes that are currently playing in this scenario and when speaking to them about their mental health, i’ve noticed the same commentary, they’re all losing their minds. They are struggling. I’M, actually there’s, probably two or three of them that i’m concerned about right now, because they just feel isolated. They miss just going out for a walk to get a coffee. You know the rest of the world is wearing a mask and going out to get a coffee. They can’t even do that they can’t interact with anybody outside of their circle. They’Re constantly nervous. You know a lot of them already have anxiety. Just given you know the profession that they have and on top of it, they’re put in a situation, that’s uncomfortable everything going on in the news. It’S, just and i know that they’re getting paid a lot of money and i always say like you’re, making a lot of money. Honey, i’m, worried about you, but mental health is a real thing. It doesn’t discriminate against anybody or anything everyone can struggle with it and i’m, seeing a lot of them struggle so um.