LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who penned an essay acknowledging his white privilege in April, has made the decision to wear “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his jersey as his social justice statement, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Korver could choose from 27 other statement options or he could have elected to go with just his name.
But “Black Lives Matter” is what he felt drawn to because of his commitment to be more socially conscious, the state of the world in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and to be in solidarity with his teammates and people of color, sources said.
“How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country? These are the questions that I’ve been asking myself lately,” Korver wrote in his Players’ Tribune piece.
In his essay, Korver wrote about the guilt he felt in 2015 when he initially heard about his then-Atlanta Hawks teammate Thabo Sefolosha being arrested and having his leg broken in the process.
“My first thought was: What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back??” he penned. “Yeah. Not, How’s he doing? Not, What happened during the arrest?? Not, Something seems off with this story. Nothing like that. Before I knew the full story, and before I’d even had the chance to talk to Thabo ….. I sort of blamed Thabo.”
Korver is one of the most well-liked players on the Bucks, and Black teammates have expressed their appreciation to him in the last few months for attempting to learn what it is that they go through, sources said.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins is the other known white player who will wear “Black Lives Matter” on his jersey, which was reported by AJ McCord of KOIN.
At 39, Korver is demonstrating how one can still step outside his comfort zone to get a better understanding of a world unfamiliar to his.
“What I’m realizing is, no matter how passionately I commit to being an ally, and no matter how unwavering my support is for NBA and WNBA players of color….. I’m still in this conversation from the privileged perspective of opting in to it. Which of course means that on the flip side, I could just as easily opt out of it,” Korver said in his Players’ Tribune article. Every day, I’m given that choice — I’m granted that privilege — based on the color of my skin.”
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