NBA players are a poorly educated group. But lack of education can’t explain the stupidity of some player remarks in response to the rioting at the Capitol and to the decision of local prosecutors in the Jacob Blake case.
Players for the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat issued a joint statement before the game between these two teams. They said:
We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart after yesterday’s decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our national’s capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on. The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protesters who acted illegally just shows how much more work we have to do.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, who seemed like a perfectly reasonable man when I heard him discussing race relations in Atlanta at a restaurant table next to ours more than 30 years ago, chimed in with this:
Can you imagine today if those were all Black people storming the Capitol and what would have happened? To me, that’s a picture that’s worth 1,000 words for all of us to see and probably something for us to reckon with again. No police dogs turned on people, no billy clubs hitting people. People peacefully being escorted out of the Capitol.
Where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that a protester at the Capitol was shot to death by the police. I’m sure she would have preferred a billy club or a dog.
Moreover, “Black people” and others claiming to protest on their behalf ran riot in city after city during the summer. They were encouraged to do so by “political leaders” including Kamala Harris. What happened in D.C. on Thursday was, in many ways, a normal day in places like Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon.
At times, police officers responded to the summer rioting with force, although almost never with deadly force, as the Capitol police did. But often, the police stood by. And even when protesters attacked and set fire to their headquarters, officers did not respond with deadly force.
In Seattle, BLM and other radical protesters took over several blocks of the city and declared it an “autonomous zone.” Seattle’s “political leaders,” if you can call them that, stood for this for the better part of a month.
In Washington, D.C., BLM and other leftist protesters assaulted Secret Service officers trying to protect the White House. At least 60 officers were injured. To my knowledge no protester was shot at or killed.
The Celtics and Heat players don’t know what they are talking about. Neither does Doc Rivers.
Lebron James, the China apologist, focused on the decision by local prosecutors that the officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha would not be charged. James said:
To hear what happened in Kenosha today was a blow to the heart and to the gut. Not only to that community but to us and every Black person that has been a part of this process and seen these outcomes for so long. We’ve got to continue to stay strong, to continue to believe in each other and to continue to push for change and the greater good.
James offered no substantive analysis of the facts surrounding the shooting of Blake. That would be asking too much of him.
The facts, as I understand them, are that Blake, a criminal, was harassing his girlfriend, in violation of a restraining order. A month earlier, he had sexually assaulted the woman.
She called the police. The police tried to arrest Blake, but he resisted.
Blake tried to leave the scene with at least one of the children of his girlfriend. He had a knife. The police ordered him to drop it.
When Blake didn’t comply, a police officer shot him seven times, leaving Blake paralyzed according to his family and his attorney. The officer was trained to fire until the threat that caused him to shoot ends.
Former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray was hired as an independent consultant by the local prosecutor. He concluded that it was a reasonable decision to engage in force with Blake based on the information the officer had at the time.
The local prosecutor concluded that he lacked evidence sufficient to prove the police officer’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Some of the basis for that conclusion can be found in this article, which also includes some of the facts set forth above.
It is important to note that, notwithstanding the local prosecutor’s decision, the Trump Justice Department is still investigating the Blake shooting. Eric Dreiband, the outgoing head of the Civil Rights Division, announced that the DOJ will continue its investigation and will make its own independent charging decision. (Unfortunately, that decision will be made by the leftists soon to be in charge of that division.)
The DOJ investigation is for a possible civil rights violation. If Blake were White, there would be no federal investigation.
Lebron James and his fellow BLM-supporting players don’t know what they are talking about.
I didn’t watch any NBA basketball during the “bubble” days, breaking a 60-year habit. I have watched a little bit of the new season.
The outward displays of support for BLM, etc. are gone. No signs, no slogans on jerseys — at least not from what I’ve seen. The NBA doesn’t want to keep alienating portions of its fan base.
But we shouldn’t forget (1) the NBA’s disgraceful kowtowing to the Chinese Communists and (2) the fact that many of its players continue to mouth the lies and distortions of the radical BLM movement.