*On a recent episode of the Tiki and Tierney radio show, Kenny Smith said “the system doesn’t work” for Black people, and he challenged pro athletes in the league to donate a percentage of their salary to the black community in an effort to help combat police brutality.
Smith told host Brandon Tierney that in order to put power back into Black hands, NBA ballers – which Black men make up 74 percent of – should allocate 10 percent of their salaries to their own community. His challenge follows the message of a Periscope stream he shared on Monday which he promoted as a state of the union address called, “Att: Black Players, What’s Your Responsibility?”
“I challenge each guy to allocate 10 percent of their salary to the communities that they’ve come from. Ten percent. Think of the agent. Ten percent and this dude just makes a phone call. He makes a phone call,” he said. “That $90 million per team per year per salary cap goes to 74 percent of the African-American men in our league.”
“So now you can make a social-economic impact,” he continued. “Which creates empowerment and creates education and opportunities that allow you to skip past all of the things that go on for a big group.
“I think that’s the responsibility,” he added.
READ RELATED STORY: LeBron & Other NBA Stars Address ‘Senseless’ Killings at ESPYs (WATCH)
The retired athlete noted that while African-Americans only make up a small percentage of the country’s population, they make up 114 of the 558 deaths by police so far this year.
“If you look at all the statistics, you go, ‘We don’t trust the police. We’re going to get arrested because [we’re] in a poor neighborhood,’ ” Smith said. “Because when you’re poor, if you don’t pay a ticket, you go to jail. If you’re rich, you just pay the ticket. It’s really a poor social economic as well as Black problem. They have to acknowledge that this is not right. The system doesn’t work.”