Sports Figures Lament Grand Jury's Decision On Breonna Taylor Case
Now that a grand jury in Kentucky has indicted one of the three Louisville police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor on a lesser charge, sports figures are "starting to express their opinions," according to Steve Gardner of USA TODAY. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the ruling was "demoralizing" and "discouraging." Kerr: "I just keep thinking about the generation of American kids of any color. Is this way the way we want to raise them? Is this the country we want to live in?" Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, who is part of the NBA's Coaches for Racial Justice Initiative with Kerr, said, "It's just a testament to why people are marching, protesting, fighting and why the importance of the election has increased" (USA TODAY, 9/24).
SPEAKING THEIR MINDS: Lakers F LeBron James described himself as feeling "devastated, hurt, sad, mad" after the decision. James on Twitter wrote, "The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I'll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond!" (USA TODAY, 9/24). Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, "There's incredible disappointment and frustration in our locker room, as well there should." Celtics coach Brad Stevens: "It's tough. There's been a call across the country, rightfully so, for more transparency, more accountability, just a better community relationships. Obviously this feels like a setback to that" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/24). Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, "I know we've been using our platform down here to try to bring about education and a voice in a lot of players on our team, especially speaking out on justice for Breonna Taylor. We have not gotten that justice" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/24). Celtics F Jayson Tatum said, "There's still no justice. Still having to fight for the same thing. It's just a lot to process. It was a tough day, a tough day for all of us" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/24).
TAKING A STAND: ESPN's Jalen Rose, on the Breonna Taylor decision: "I just want people to know that blacks are hurting. As we relate it to sports, the sports that are predominantly black, the NBA, the WNBA and the NFL, all of those players are performing with heavy hearts, and we’re still showing up to try to do our jobs" (“NBA Countdown,” ESPN, 9/23). Lakers G Danny Green: "Obviously, the goals that we're trying to achieve we are very far away from after seeing today’s verdict. It's a disappointment. We feel like, not that we have taken a step back, but we haven't made the progress. Our voices aren't being heard loud enough, but we're not going to stop." ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said "one of the things players have done very skillfully is tap into other sources of people who can help them," such as "owners, executives," and "apply that pressure" (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 9/23). ESPN's Zach Lowe noted NBA players have "taken a leadership role, they’re going to keep taking a leadership role and this is just going to be a reality of their role in the discourse is not going away and good on them." Lowe: "A lot of people have said, 'Well, once they leave the bubble they'll kick up on the couch and not pay attention and all that.' Absolutely not. They've proven that's not the case" (“The Jump,” ESPN, 9/23).