Bradley Beal joined the NBC Sports Washington broadcast on Sunday before and during the Wizards' game against the Brooklyn Nets and spoke extensively about social justice matters, which he's been actively involved in for years but even more so in recent months as the conversation has become more prevalent nationwide.
Beal began by framing the discussion around fatherhood and his two young sons. Beal has been paying a lot of attention to recent events and has been directly involved in speaking out and marching in protest. And through all of it, the future of his two sons has been heavy on his mind.
"We are African-American and we're young, Black men in this world. [They are] young Black men who won't grow up the way I grew up. So, I have to take that into consideration. At the end of the day, when I step outside of that basketball court, I'm a Black man just like everybody else," he said.
"I still have two young kings that I have to raise. I have to stay out of trouble and stay in a straightened arrow and just live accordingly. Everything I do and every decision I make is for my kids. It's not easy being in this world, especially in the time we're in."
The conversation, led by NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller, then pivoted to the fact he has been more vocal recently about social justice issues in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers. Beal explained why he is speaking up even more now.
"It was just enough is enough," he said. "It just comes to a point where you can't accept what's going on in the world. Right is right and wrong is wrong... Let's create change in any way we possibly can and hold people accountable."
Beal highlighted the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY as an example as an injustice that has been on his mind. Taylor was killed by police officers in her home and those who were responsible for her death have not been charged.
"Breonna Taylor's murderers are still not arrested. To me, that is mind-boggling. But you can arrest her husband, who was clearly just defending his family. It's backwards, so we have to correct that. As a Black society, that's something that we deal with and something that we face. But it's amazing that other people in the world are now become awoke to it and really doing something about it and just taking a stand," Beal said.
Beal went in-depth on the Wizards and Mystics' march together on June 19 in Washington and how the players and organizations are hoping to open Capital One Arena as a polling place for the election in November. Monumental Sports has outlined a series of initiatives involving social justice, many of them dealing with voting rights and mobilization.
Beal sees a lot of potential to make change with his teammates.
"We're in the most powerful city in the world. We're right here where we can affect change right in our own backyard. We have the resources, we have the abilities, we have voices and we're going to continue to utilize them," he said.
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