Players across the league are turning to lay-ups as a form of protest.
In an unprecedented move, NBA players across the league are protesting race relations in the country by refusing to dunk. In a statement put out by the NBA player’s union, many players are coming together in a coordinated effort to boycott the most electrifying play in basketball “to let Americans everyone know we will not stand, let alone slam, for systemic injustices against black people.”
Slam dunks have symbolized the athletic prowess fans have come to expect in the modern NBA ever since Michael Jordan completed a nearly impossible one in the movie Space Jam. But due to contractual obligations for NBA players to stand for the National Anthem, many members of the league are instead refusing to dunk, opting to lay the ball in softly instead of slamming it through the rims in one of the most dominating and exciting acts in sports.
NBA superstar LeBron James announced this week that he too would be participating in the dunk embargo.
“Until race relations improve in this country,” stated James in a press conference, “Until black people are not discriminated against and some true changes are made, I have no choice but to give up slam dunks.”
NBA fans had a wide spectrum of opinions on the topic. Some respected the move by athletes to use their platform to affect change, while others were outraged by what they saw as a degradation of their sport.
Recognizing potential financial backlash for the league, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly working hard to end the ban.
“We fully recognize and respect players’ ability to organize as they see fit,” said a visibly distraught Silver of the protest players were only organizing because of a contractual ban on kneeling for the National Anthem. “However, fans come to the arena to see athletic plays. People come for the dunking, and it’s not like the white players can pick up the slack.”
Continued a flustered Silver, “I mean, Stephen Curry can only appeal to so many demographics. What are we supposed to do about the Dunk Contest? Go back to playing H.O.R.S.E.?”
At press time, NBA players were facing criticism by their team owners for disrespecting the patriotic act of slam dunking.