I know it's an uncomfortable conversation, but this is one that needs to be had. Full disclosure I spoke with Tyler about this to get his thoughts and how to even attempt to blog this because it's something that needs to be said. I couldn't be happier to call Tyler a friend and I honestly consider myself lucky that I could call him and have a conversation. I also know that people come to Barstool to laugh, but there is also something that feels off about that right this second. We are in the middle of one of the most important times of our lives. That's just a fact.
At the same time this is something I've been thinking about and seeing different reactions on Twitter. I want to talk specifically about this Kings situation but also just watching how athletes across the world and in every sport are reacting to what's going on in America. For whatever reason people get upset when athletes speak up - that's always been the case. But the truth is they are humans just like everyone else. They have opinions, thoughts, feelings and should be able to speak their mind without pushback of people saying 'you're an athlete.'
So let's start with what's going on with the Kings. Grant Napear is their play-by-play guy who has been suspended indefinitely for this tweet and further tweets defending it. Good for the Kings. I don't care if this will get pushback in the comment section or on Twitter, but this is how I feel. Why is it so hard to just say that black lives matter? It's simple. The response shouldn't be what Grant did here.
That's why responses like this from Boogie, Chris Webber and Matt Barnes make sense. They are guys that have played across multiple generations with the Kings and interacted with Napear.
The reaction shouldn't be getting upset at the players for speaking out about this. The reaction should be why couldn't Grant just say, yes black lives matter. That's step 1. It's why we all should be mad at how James Dolan is handling the situation and unable to even put out a statement.
This isn't a political statement. This isn't even really a social matter. This is basic human rights. This is simply asking to focus attention on a group of people demanding to be treated equal. It shouldn't be difficult, but it always is. That's why it's awesome to see athletes and people within sports standing up. I look at what Chris Beard and Texas Tech did last night walking in a silent march
I don't have solutions. None of us really do. But there are steps and it's pretty basic. Listen. Tyler, Brandon and Willie all brought it up at some point. Erika brought it up on her podcast talking to Tyler and Willie - just listen. Stop trying to fight. It's okay to be uncomfortable during a conversation, but have that conversation. I thought Kevin put it perfectly last night on the rundown:
That's why I just want people to listen. Shout out everyone in athletics from these players to Trae Young, Malcolm Brogdon, Stephen Jackson, KAT and Jaylen Brown participating in peaceful protests to Seth Towns and Texas Tech to coaches making changes and everyone else.