burninmylight on 26 August 2020
I wrote from the hip earlier, but I've had a little more time to calm down and express myself a little further.
You've seen the jerseys, courts and other things plastered with BLM slogans. You've seen the vignettes from players and coaches as well. It's a nice gesture, but it feels more like a PR-stunt and marketing campaign than anything.
But this right here is real. This is an active demonstration; a defiance. Money, ratings, betting lines, contracts, championship aspirations: all these are on the line. Some people would have you believe that players just care about money and branding. But this demonstrates that there are bigger things than contracts, shoe sales, and even rings.
Like I said earlier, my Bucks a strong title contenders, and have as good a chance as anybody to win the whole damn thing. But a man's kids had to watch their father get shot in the back and paralyzed for attempting to break up a dispute. And it happened in their backyard.
You probably haven't ever heard of Sterling Brown or John Henson, but I recommend you take a quick moment to look up some of their experiences in being black in Wisconsin:
"On January 26, 2018, at 2 a.m., Brown was approached by a Milwaukee police officer because his car was straddling two handicapped parking spaces. This occurred in a nearly empty Walgreens parking lot on the south end of the city, the intersection of South 27th street and National Ave. After Brown interacted with the officer, who requested backup, a number of officers arrived on scene. Several minutes after the first officer began talking with Brown, an officer yelled at Brown to remove his hands from the pockets of his hoodie. Brown responded, "I’ve got stuff in my hands". He was subsequently tackled to the ground and tased. Brown was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, but the case was not referred to prosecutors after an internal review."
"Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson alleged last week that he was a victim of racial discrimination by Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin when he attempted to shop at the store to buy a new Rolex. The newly-released audio of the store's 911 call, via The Root, lends some credence to Henson's accusations."
Brown is still an active player on the Bucks roster and has taken the court within these playoffs. There is precedence for the players to not only support the black population of the state, but there is the fact that one of their very own has been a victim of police brutality that went unchecked. Are you going to tell him to shut up and dribble? Can you tell him to stick to sports?