The NBA (National Basketball Association) was established in 1946 NY, New York in the USA. Since then, associates, representatives and officials have never shield away from conversations about the American history of racism. In more recent times, namely on the 30th of July 2020, the NBA took a stand against the unfortunate but continued racial injustice faced by people of color.
On the re-opening game night, broadcasted television partners TNT, players of the New Orleans Pelicans and of the Utah Jazz took a knee and raised their fists while Jon Batiste’s National Anthem Played in the background.
Later in the night, the Los Angeles Lakers are the Los Angeles Clippers did the same. Furthering this need-for-the-hour motive, jerseys that normally sported names of players, instead, had slogans such as ‘Justice now’, ‘Respect Us’ and ‘See Us’ to name a few. Warm-up jerseys had words ‘Black Lives Matter’ printed in them, in bold.
Before the shocking death of George Floyd, Sports was Known to be one of the industries on the forefront of the stand against what is infamously called ‘America’s Original Sin’. Looking back at the 1967 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos united to carry out a silent protest that has gone down in history as an iconic image – The Black Power Salute. Many such occasions combine to show us how America’s sporting industry has contributed towards the universal goal of wiping out racial discrimination.
Watch Tommie Smith on his 1968 Black power salute via Channel 4 News on YouTube
However, there is no denying that race has been extremely prominent in the NBA, from its earliest days of being popularized as entertainment by the Harlem Globetrotters of color. Reportedly in the year 2016, two-thirds of the television viewership were non-whites.
Former San Antonio Spurs Guard, Stephen Jackson, had a close friendship with George Floyd for over 20 years. They were even mistaken as twins from time-to-time. It was late May when Jackson’s phone began ringing continuously. “i opened one from a close friend and it said: “Do you see what they did to your twin in Minnesota?: He tells BBC. “That could have been me,” Jackson says, “I see myself down there because we look so much alike. I definitely see myself getting murdered in the same fashion by a cop.” Speaking from his own experience, Rasheed Wallace of Detroit Pistons tells BBC “For sure, it could have been me. Especially with my attitude and the way I am,”
George Floyd was known in his community as a star athlete whilst growing up. He was recruited to play basketball for well-known universities in his younger days. Meanwhile, former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chain, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in elation to Floyd’s death. Three other officers were also charged with this devastating crime. A tentative trial dare has been set for March 2021
Donate to the Black Lives Matter movement here: The Black Lives Matter Movement