Dwight says vets won't urge players to sit out: 'We are not here to dictate'
Icon Sportswire / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard says he won't discourage his fellow players from moving forward with the NBA's plan to continue its season in Orlando next month.

The 34-year-old former All-Star says he and fellow veterans like Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley are simply trying to empower those who feel unable to broach their reservations about the league's tentative plan.

"In a time like this, where we are fighting for equal rights, it would be contradictory if we told our own players to not play and do as we say," Howard wrote in a statement to The Athletic's Shams Charania. "We are not here to dictate, nor do we have the power to do so. We want to make sure communication is taking place openly (and) without fear.

"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. And as Avery said, in the decisions we make, be sure we are thinking of everyone collectively and not moving based off of selfish agendas."

In a statement released June 13, Howard said he felt that continuing the season would "only be a distraction" from important social justice issues.

While acknowledging the reasons a player could have for resisting the NBA's plan, commissioner Adam Silver said Monday that the league will allow players to opt out of the remainder of the season. Beyond the forfeiture of salary if a player is deemed healthy enough to play, the individual would not be disciplined for their decision.

On Howard's part, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year insists that even those who are personally against the NBA's plan will support those who continue to play this season, and vice versa.

"The game will go on with our without those who decide not to play, because like we are taught, we are easily replaceable," Howard wrote. "We are also in full support of our brothers, whether we decide to enter or not enter the Orlando bubble."

Comments
Dwight says vets won't urge players to sit out: 'We are not here to dictate'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox