by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
ORLANDO, FL — On Saturday Clippers head coach Doc Rivers assured everyone that Kawhi Leonard had arrived in the bubble and underwent protocol in order to be cleared to practice. Rivers also said he’s focused on the players who have arrived and not the ones who have yet to arrive.
One thing Rivers focused on was the treatment of NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, who got entangled in a war of words with Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. Senator Hawley leaked an email chain between himself and Wojnarowski regarding the NBA players wearing messages on their jerseys. Woj fired back with a profane response to which he later apologized for.
Rivers took offense to Hawley’s claims and spoke about it passionately during a Saturday afternoon zoom call with the media.
“We have a senator that Tweets at Woj yesterday [Friday] just because he was talking about what we were going to put on the back of our jersey,” Rivers said. “And they always try to turn it into the military or the police. There’s no league that does more for the military than the NBA.
“You know, it’s funny, whenever we talk about justice,people try to change the message. Colin Kaepernick kneels; it had nothing to do with the troops. It had to do with social injustice, and everyone tried to change the narrative.”
Rivers has always be outspoken about race, racism and inequality in our country. He made valid points along with defending Woj who was later suspended on Saturday night.
“But how about that Senator,” Rivers said. “I’ll make a challenge: We will do things for the troops as long as he acknowledges #BlackLivesMatter. I think that would be really cool for him to do.”
What happened with Kaepernick was a complete travesty as he suffered unjust treatment for standing up for what is right. Rivers made that abundantly clear in his message, along making sure his players have an outlet to speak up on issues they are passionate about and focused on. We’ve seen many athletes stand up and speak out including Maya Moore who stopped her career to fight criminal justice reform, that resulted in an innocent man regaining his freedom.
Far too often the media along with people like Senator Hawley try to twist the message of racism, inequality, police brutality, any time it’s brought up to be addressed.
“I guarantee you, we’ve done more for the military than probably that Senator,” Rivers said.
Another truth Rivers brought up that the NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers honor and recognize our U.S. troops on a consistent basis.
No response from Senator Hawley regarding this issue at this time.