In recent seasons, NBA players have refused to just shut up and dribble. With the NBA slated to start next month in the middle of a pandemic and racial strife, however, is it time for players to stop dribbling so the bouncing ball does not drown out their voice?

David Leonard.

“I don’t think playing the season necessarily has a positive or a negative affect,” said David Leonard, professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, at Washington State University. He teaches classes on politics of sports and wrote the book, “After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.” “People can make an argument that each space can be used and leveraged toward shining a spotlight on racism and police violence,” Leonard said.

“Even if there are no games going on, their voices and their platforms are still big,” Leonard said. “The power in their voices transcend the game.”

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