by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers played horrific defense against the San Antonio Spurs, in a 118-109 loss on Thursday night at Staples Center. However, that loss certainly paled in comparison because of the horrendous event that occurred just 24 hours earlier at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Many domestic terrorists stormed the building and began vandalizing and destroying property. Many of the extremists were bold enough to take photos and break into many Senators’ offices including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
To add insult to injury, many videos showed how the U.S. Capitol police aided some of the extremists with entering the building and never once arrested or used any kind of violence against them. Yet months earlier when BLM and others protested near the White House peacefully, they were met with brutal force and tear gas.
It’s truly a tale of two Americas which sparked powerful comments from many NBA players that included Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jaylen Brown, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Davis, who wore a “Fear Of A Black Planet” shirt symbolizing a Public Enemy album, discussed the events of this week in a very particular fashion.
“My shirt, yeah it’s definitely in relation to what’s going on,” Davis said. “Fear of a Black planet and its funny how when Black Lives Matter protest and we want to get our point across (being) in the streets with peaceful protest. Yet we get attacked, assaulted and violence happens. On the other side it’s a double standard. An entire group runs into the nation’s capitol and gets escorted out the front door like everything is ok.“
To Davis’ point, double standards have been happening since Black people were brought upon these shores and forced into slavery. Because of technology, society can now witness more of these situations. However, we as Black people and people of color are the ones unfortunately experiencing it on many levels in this country.
“It’s a slap in the face to us; it feels like we are going backwards. We thought we were seeing change, and then this happens. The whole Jacob Blake thing happens a day before and it’s just a run of things that in all actuality…. it’s bulls**t,” Davis expressed.
With a new president in office many believe change was on the horizon, however, with the events at the U.S. Capitol and the lack of justice for a now paralyzed Blake as a result of the police shooting a non threatening man. The same case where no charges were filed against the officers involved. Many of us continue to ask the question that essentially Davis asked in, what has truly changed?
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green emphatically referred to the violators as terrorists, which is absolutely correct.
“To keep calling them protesters. These are not f***ing protesters, they’re f***ing terrorists,” Green said at a post game press conference.
The folks who attacked the Capitol were listening to a president who has never set a great example for our society, yet proclaims he wants to make America great again. Donald Trump has been a catalyst for the events of this week, and reasons why we are divided as a society. We still can’t get justice for unarmed Black and Brown men and women at the hands of police and white extremists.
Justice and freedom should not be mutually exclusive if we are all free, yet the events of society continue to prove otherwise.
When asked about the Spurs and Lakers locking arms at mid-court before the opening tip off, Davis said we just wanted to show solidarity during these times.
He also reiterated the words of former President Barack Obama, “we are stronger united than what divides us.”
“We live in two Americas,” James said. “The prime example was yesterday (Wednesday). If you don’t see that then you need to take a step back, maybe like four or five. Maybe not four or five but maybe ten steps backwards. What we saw yesterday was a gut punch for us.
“How do we want to live in this beautiful country? Because yesterday was not it.”
James raised the issue that many of us raised, if those were Black people heading inside the building like that, how different would the outcome be? Those of us who are honest, Black and non-Black people can answer that question.
“He doesn’t care about this country, he doesn’t care about his family, he only cares about himself,” James said regarding Trump. “Those tweets are what led to the events of yesterday. We just sh*tted away the last four years and one thing we can’t get back is time. He’s the reason why our country has gone to sh*t. Those weren’t protesters; they were terrorists in the Capitol.”
Not only did James touch a nerve, but hit the main vein of America with his words of truth and righteous conviction of a society that continues to allow the behavior of white supremacy to flourish in this time and space. His words and cleansing truth were and have been apropos to what we face as Black people and people of color.
We’ve all been told to stick to sports whether you’re an athlete, reporter or journalist; however the truth has to continue to be spoken clearly and fluently. As we heard the words from many NBA players, all one could hear as a background instrumental when they spoke is Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” a song that continues to be relevant today.
We all have suffered in this country from those in the Jewish, Latino, Native American, Asian, and Black communities at the hands of supremacy.
Thursday night’s post game press conference was not just about basketball, but about much bigger issues that need to be addressed, including equality for all.