Weekend protests continue to evolve around the country after the killing of Minnesota man George Floyd. NBA players and coaches have spoken out in support of protests, even joining them themselves. Many players, current and retired, have gone viral on social media speaking up for things that mean everything to them.
Retired veteran Stephen Jackson, who was extremely close with Floyd, led a protest in Minneapolis on Friday alongside current Timberwolves’ center Karl-Anthony Towns. Jackson has used his platform and Showtime show All the Smoke to create awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter statement that has swept the nation.
Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon and Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown were among other players that traveled to their hometowns to be there for their cities. The NBA players are both vice presidents on the leadership council of the National Basketball Players Association.
Brown, who drove 15 hours from Boston to his home state of Georgia, lead a peaceful protest in Atlanta. He had made it well known on social media that he would be making the trip, and sent out specific directions for people to find him and join him.
Brown had this to say on Instagram Live during the protest:
“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community. This is a peaceful protest. Being a celebrity, being an NBA player don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community. We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK.”
He then goes on to say: “As a young person, you’ve got to listen to our perspective. Our voices need to be heard. I’m 23 years old. I don’t know all of the answers, but I feel how everybody else is feeling, for sure. No question.”
In addition, Brogdon has made waves across social media platforms, bringing up the fact that his grandpa had marched with Dr. King in the 60s.
“I got brothers, I got sisters, I got friends that are in the streets, that are out here, that haven’t made it to this level, that are experiencing it — that are getting pulled over, just discrimination, day after day, dealing with the same bull—-. This is systematic.
We don’t have to burn down our homes. We built this city. This is the most proudly black city in the world, the world man. So let’s take some pride in that, let’s focus our energy. Let’s enjoy this together, this is a moment. We have leverage right now. We have a moment in time. People are gonna look back, our kids are gonna look back at this and say, ‘you were a part of that.’
I have a grandfather that marched next to Dr. King in the ’60s. He was amazing, and he would be proud to see us all here. We gotta keep pushing forward. Jaylen has led this charge man, I’m proud of him. We need more leaders.”