Following a remarkable performance in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray broke down in tears during his post-game interview. Not just because of keeping his team alive in the playoffs, but because of the ongoing police brutality that continues in the United States.
While the NBA Playoffs were in full swing, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was senselessly shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin even though he did not pose an immediate threat. The shooting occurred because the cops used racial bias and assumed that Blake would become violent because he is a Black man.
The Black Lives Matter movement, although this doesn’t need to be explained anymore, is not anti-white or anti-police. The movement spreads awareness that Black people in the United States are being brutalized or murdered by police at an alarming rate. How many times on the news in the last few years do we hear about Black people and their unfortunate run-ins with the police? Too many.
It’s not just being pulled over in a car. Black people can’t even sleep in their beds without threat of being killed by police like Breonna Taylor was.
Now that Black athletes want to speak up in support of racial justice, people are continuing to tell them to “shut up and dribble” or “stick to sports.” No more.
Today, we are only seen as sources of entertainment, we are the professional athletes, the singers, the actors, the dancers. Any form of entertainment you can think of, we are the majority. But when it is time like these where our voices need to be heard because we are sick and tired of constantly being second-class citizens, we are told to not get involved and continue providing entertainment.
There is nothing more privileged than saying that you use entertainment to escape from reality’s horrors. Do you know why? Because Black people have to live out these horrors and live in fear on a daily basis because of the tone of their skin.
I have never had any negative interactions with police, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous whenever I see a Flagstaff Police Department car pass by me when I’m walking outside. It’s that instinctual fear as to why I can’t respect people who need Black people to escape from the world.
We aren’t just entertainers, we are people as well. Our voices mean just as much as anyone else’s.
Now is the time to take a step back and actually listen to us. We know you hear us because you want to denounce us, but you aren’t actually listening. All Black people want is to be seen as equals and not be stereotyped or have police judge us because of the color of our skin.
Now’s the time for you to join the Black community and say one important phrase — enough is enough.