Some NBA players have chosen to participate in the nationwide protests fighting for justice after the death of George Floyd, who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck as he screamed for help.
The officer seen pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck has since been arrested and faced third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, and New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. were some of the players who said they decided to protest peacefully.
Brown, who drove 15 hours from Boston to his home state of Georgia, led a peaceful protest in Atlanta. He put out the call on social media for people to join him, and was accompanied by a large crowd.
“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community,” Brown said on his Instagram Live. “This is a peaceful protest. Being a celebrity, being an NBA player don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community… We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK.
“As a young person, you’ve got to listen to our perspective,” Brown added. “Our voices need to be heard. I’m 23 years old. I don’t know all of the answers, but I feel how everybody else is feeling, for sure. No question.”
Brown also posted a photo on his Instagram of himself holding a poster that read, “I can’t breathe”, which were the words of Eric Garner, a man who died after a New York police officer put him in a chokehold in 2014.
Harris, on the other hand, joined the protests in Philadelphia, and he FaceTimed his teammate Mike Scott, who also has been very vocal amid Floyd’s death.
In North Carolina, Smith showed his support for Floyd. A photo showed Smith standing beside notable Fayetteville-based rapper J. Cole.