Say their names!
With a nationwide outcry against systemic racial injustice in the USA, police brutality and the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmed Arbury, NBA players across the nation have taken action on social media and been seen demonstrating in protests around the country.
Trail Blazers All-Star point guard was among the thousands of people in Portland on Thursday night participating in a peaceful protest throughout the city.
Lillard was first seen in a Twitter video from KOIN 6 photographer Richard Roberson protesting outside of Revolution Hall in SE Portland.
Rain or shine 🖤— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) June 6, 2020
(via hoodie5 / Instagram) pic.twitter.com/KaWsHiPHWY
Update.. I went to the one from revolution hall to Waterfront and it was powerful.✊🏾 https://t.co/ClgAKipiM9— Anfernee Simons (@AnferneeSimons) June 6, 2020
The NBA world is using its voice to provoke change and that conversation continues Monday night with "Race and Sports in America: Conversations," a roundtable discussion with athletes and former athletes for a conversation on race and sports in America hosted by Golf Channel's Damon Hack.
The full list of athletes who participated in the "Race and Sports in America: Conversations" roundtables include:
• Charles Barkley – 1992 and 1996 Olympic basketball champion
• James Blake – 10-time ATP tennis champion, 2008 Olympian
• Stephen Curry – two-time NBA MVP, two-time FIBA world champion
• Troy Mullins – World Long Drive competitor
• Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers head coach
• Jimmy Rollins – World Series champion shortstop
• Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings tight end
• Ozzie Smith – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer
Below, you can find an excerpt of Barkley and Curry discussing the way they are treated by white America as famous, Black athletes.
DAMON HACK: It's interesting. You guys have all played at the highest level. You've had people that would cheer for you when you were in uniform. But if you were walking down the street and not wearing your uniform and you had a hoodie on, they might look at you a little bit different.
How do you navigate that?
CHARLES BARKLEY: The notion that rich and famous Black people are treated like regular Black people, that's not right. We get treated great. But I always worry about how we treat poor Black people.
You know, there's a great thing and Spike Lee, who I really admire and respect in that movie, "Do The Right Thing," that's a perfect illustration what Ozzie is talking about, what I'm talking about, when the guy says, you know, you hate Black people. He says, yeah, I hate Black people. He says, who is your favorite entertainer. He says Michael Jackson. He says, who is your favorite jock. He says, Michael Jordan. He's says, they're Black. And he said, well, they're not "Black."
And that's the disadvantage that us four we're at a disadvantage because White people treat us great. And, like I say, I'm not worried about how they treat us because it really comes down to economics, too, at some point, because rich Black people aren't treated like poor Black people. And that's the thing we've got to really engage conversation.
How can we get more Black people and poor White people also, but they're in the same boat, give them economic opportunity. That's what America's really got to grapple with.
When the NBA returns on July 30th, players will have the option to replace their name on the back of their jersey with a social justice campaign approved by the league.
Damian Lillard has chosen the statement of "How Many More?"
CJ McCollum will wear "Education Reform.
I chose ‘Education Reform' because I'm big on education. I think that's really important and something that we lack especially in certain communities, black communities, people of color and communities where kids are at a disadvantage.
I think there needs to be more light on that. So that's kind of been my focus and will continue to be my focus. Obviously, there's a lot of stuff that needs fixing in this world, but historically I focus on education. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum
Jusuf Nurkic has reportedly chosen to wear "Equality." Rookie Nassir Little has chosen "Black Lives Matter."
The NBA's collective voice will hopefully foster deeper conversation and hopefully change.
Race and Sports in America: Conversations airs Mon., July 13 on NBCSNW, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel at 5 p.m. PT.
NBA's collective voice will further discussion towards social equality originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest