Protests have taken place around the country and world over the past several days following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. The African American man died on May 25 after a police officer put his knee into his neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying that he couldn’t breathe.
Since then, members of the Los Angeles Clippers have spoken out publicly and acted in response to the killing and to the core value of racial equality through the Black Lives Matter movement.
With Clippers head coach Doc Rivers already familiar with racism in the workplace as he helped usher the team through the events which led to the ouster of disgraced former owner Donald Sterling in 2014, the team and Rivers opted to release a joint statement, in Rivers’ voice, on Sunday:
A statement on behalf of @DocRivers and the LA Clippers. pic.twitter.com/OwbLEHFrCL— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) May 31, 2020
Prior to that, current Clippers team owner Steve Ballmer made a personal statement expressing sadness and anger over the state of race relations and solidarity with African Americans.
I am so so sad about #GeorgeFloyd and feel for his family. I am also angry. Everyone in America deserves to live without fear. We need to treat people equally, fairly, respectfully— especially blacks who often get treated so poorly.— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) May 30, 2020
We must hold one another accountable. We (non-black people) must get to work. We must educate ourselves on the history of oppression and discrimination and how it continues today so we can be better allies and advocate for a better future. We can and must do better.— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) May 30, 2020
(WARNING: Violence and language). Paul George shared a supercut of violence by police towards protesters in recent days, with a message of support in ending racist violence, while also not condemning all law enforcement as violent.
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I have family members in law enforcement so I know there are some good cops. That being said I won’t say fuck the police but what I will say is fuck the system! We appreciate ALL that are standing with us! I’ve experienced racism more than once and as a black man raising two daughters I would hate for them to have to experience it as well. I love you all but we have to do better. Now that we have the worlds attention let’s take the steps forward to bring change!
Montrezl Harrell did most of his talking on the matter on Instagram through a Tupac Shakur video, where the rapper used a metaphor of being hungry for demanding social justice.
Patrick Beverley, renowned for his powers of concentration, admitted basketball isn’t really on his mind right now.
Hard to FOCUS on or anything when the WORLD is hurting— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 1, 2020
Marcus Morris has had a couple posts in recent days on the matter. He shared footage of a peaceful protest in Minneapolis:
... and he offered a succinct message on finding support, shared by all of the Lakers players on social media as well.
Beyond statements alone, another member of the Clippers offered more in support of protests. Lou Williams pledged $25,000 to a bail fund in Atlanta for arrested protesters there.
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I wanna get those home that left the safety of their homes to fight injustice in the best way they saw fit. I encourage my homies to do the same in their home cities as well. In unison with @chrisstewart_esq_ we are gonna start this fund to get everybody home. Correspond with @fashiondree if u know somebody who needs help. will have more info tomorrow. And be clear, this ain’t for the goofys who used this opportunity to tear down companies and businesses built on blood, sweat, and tears who stood side by side with you in this fight!!!!
The protests and aftermath of George Floyd’s death continue to change, and no one knows what is coming next based on how this year has gone so far. But the actions of the world around us have given the entire Clippers organization time to compose their thoughts and to engage in various ways with this world, right now.