Notable NBA stars who refuse to stand idly by as police brutality ramps up
Led by the sometimes outlandish NBA point guard Kyrie Irving, a collection of the world’s most powerful basketball players are refusing to go back to “business as usual”. The NBA season is set to begin this summer in Florida with players and staffers having to isolate nearby.
Why Players Are Boycotting the NBA
So why are these star athletes pushing back? George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all those who have died in police custody are the reason why. They recognized that the National Basketball Association and team owners were not doing enough to put an end to this form of brutality. In a time of so much momentum and tension, players feel that playing basketball would only serve as a distraction. According to CBS During a conference call with over 80 players, Irving reportedly said, “I’m not with the systematic racism and the bullshit.… something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as black men every day we wake up.” In a league that is predominantly BIPOC, courageous athletes see that they could unify to promote change.
Michael Jordan’s Donation
Micheal Jordan, who famously has kept his politics private has been the most outspoken current NBA team owner since the protests began. Jordan received praise for donating $1 million each to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In a letter released exclusively to The Undefeated, Jordan penned “As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers…I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”
Donald Sterling and the NBA
Compared to the NFL’s dismal social justice record, the NBA has had a history of being accountable. Take Donald Sterling’s, the owner of the LA Clippers, and his disgraceful and deeply racist views on the world. When the tape of his disgusting anti-black slurs was brought to light, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, banned Sterling for life from any NBA facilities. Whether or not he was ousted soon enough is a different story. Had commissioner Silver not taken action, a number of players, including Andre Iguodala have stated that they would have walked out. It was this pressure that moved the National Basketball Association forward. That was 2014, six years ago.
What will come of the protest of this impressive NBA Union? The honest answer is; we will have to wait and see.