By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Last Friday, Senator Josh Hawley wrote a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver maintaining the league had “crossed the line of sanctioning specific political messages.” Also questioning the league’s patriotism by approving messages for their players to wear slogans that didn’t include “Back the Blue” or “Support Our Troops.” Before the league responded to Senator Hawley, ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, who is widely known for breaking NBA news, often referred to as “Wojbombs,” had his best Wojbomb yet. Click here to see Woj’s response to the senator letter to the NBA Commissioner. However, ESPN subsequently suspended Wojnarowski for his profane response to the Missouri Senator.
Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers was none too pleased with the Senator’s attack on the league and issued a challenge to Senator Josh Hawley during his Zoom Press Conference with the media on Saturday. During the Clippers media zoom call, I was able to ask Coach Rivers a couple of questions: “Would you mind sharing the best thing you learned about your coaching staff and the players over the last few months?” and, “What would be your message to society on improving, or even eradicating, racial inequalities in the country?”
This elicited this passionate response from Coach Doc Rivers, “I’ll start with, that, the first one is being more tolerant and listening and understanding. I mean, we have a senator that Tweets at Woj yesterday just because he was talking about what we were going to put on the back of our jersey. And they always try to turn it into the military or the police.” By clicking on this link you can hear what Doc added, “There’s no league that does more for the military than the NBA. But how that about that Senator? 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.”
Coach Rivers also pointed out how politicians often changing the narrative: “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. How about staying on what we are talking about and dealing with that, instead of trying to trick us or change or trick your constituents? How about being real? I guarantee you; we’ve done more for the military than probably that Senator. And I guarantee you this: We also are going to do things for #BlackLivesMatter. How about him? Maybe he should join into that!”
Doc then circled back to my initial question: “That’s what I’ve learned about our players and our coaches, who are just really involved. Obliviously, you learn about basketball, and that’s great. But through the COVID and the times that we’ve done Zoom, I think what I’ve learned more is about our players as people, and what they stand for.”
As you can see, Doc Rivers is very approachable and has enough confidence, education, and experience to freely speak his mind. I like the fact that he was passionate enough to address these serious issues. Kindly, share your thoughts by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or forward your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, be sure to subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms; Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, Thank You for making our voice, your choice!