Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia spoke out after news that the team would begin the 2020-21 season in Tampa Bay.
The announcement was officially made on Friday morning after the federal government rejected a proposal to play home games in Canada.
In a statement from team president Masai Ujiri, the Raptors worked “diligently with public health officials at the local, provincial and federal level to secure a plan that would permit us to play our 2020-21 season on home soil and on our home court at Scotiabank Arena.”
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Ujiri says the conversations were “productive” but that the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the team’s “urgent need” to determine where to play, resulted in the team beginning play out of Tampa, Florida.
And while the news is upsetting for a lot of fans, Bhatia wants to “turn this setback into something positive.”
“I get it,” he writes in an Instagram post. “Not what we wanted to hear. But no matter where they start the season the Raptors are always going to be our team!!!”
“I know every single player wanted to get back in front of us all. I know each and everyone in the organization wanted to get back on our home court but beyond basketball the safety of everyone is priority.”
“They can take our team out of Toronto for a few months, but they can’t take our love for our squad,” he writes. “We are a championship city!”
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