Saturday, May 18, 2024

NBA Star Kyle Korver Pens Essay on Racism in the NBA, White Privilege [VIDEO]

*NBA star Kyle Korver says he wants to do more than just be an ally to the Black community, which is why the Utah Jazz player has posted a 2,700-word essay titled “Privileged” on The Players’ Tribune about racism and white supremacy in the United States.

In the clip above, he also chops it up with fellow teammates about “Racism and the NBA.”

Korver’s essay details how he wants to do his part in addressing systemic racism, and it comes after a racially-charged encounter on the Jazz’s home court between a white fan and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country?” Korver writes.

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“These are the questions that I’ve been asking myself lately. And I don’t think I have all the answers yet — but here are the ones that are starting to ring the most true: I have to continue to educate myself on the history of racism in America,” he continues. “I have to listen. I’ll say it again, because it’s that important. I have to listen.”

His essay begins with how he reacted when teammate Thabo Sefolosha was arrested outside a New York nightclub in 2015 and suffered a broken leg in the process. Korver noted that at the time he blamed Sefolosha for partying in between games.

“I thought, ‘Well, if I’d been in Thabo’s shoes, out at a club late at night, the police wouldn’t have arrested me. Not unless I was doing something wrong.'” Korver writes. “Cringe. It’s not like it was a conscious thought. It was pure reflex — the first thing to pop into my head.”

Looking back on it now, Korver believes he let himself and Sefolosha down by not trying to understand why Thabo was arrested

“I probably would’ve been safe on the street that one night in New York. And Thabo wasn’t.”

He then addressed Westbrook’s heated moment with a racist Jazz fan.

“Everyone was upset I was upset — and embarrassed, too. But there was another emotion in the room that day, one that was harder to put a finger on. It was almost like….. disappointment, mixed with exhaustion. Guys were just sick and tired of it all.”

Westbrook’s incident prompted Korver to further explore white privilege in America.

“And after the events in Salt Lake City last month, and as we’ve been discussing them since, I’ve really started to recognize the role those demographics play in my privilege. It’s like — I may be Thabo’s friend, or Ekpe( Udoh)’s teammate, or Russ’s colleague; I may work with those guys. And I absolutely 100% stand with them. But I look like the other guy.”

He goes on to say…

“I know that, as a white man, I have to hold my fellow white men accountable. We all have to hold each other accountable. And it’s about understanding that Black Lives Matter, and movements like it, matter, because — well, let’s face it: I probably would have been safe on the street that one night in New York. And Thabo wasn’t. And I was safe on the court that one night in Utah. And Russell wasn’t.”

You can read his full essay here.


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