In a perfect world, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and his players should only be focused on their goal of bringing a championship home as they battle in the playoffs. Instead, Rivers, like many Black Americans, has to battle the ugliness of racial injustice despite all his achievements on and off the court and addressed the matter in a powerful postgame moment.
After the Clippers blew out the Dallas Mavericks 154-111, the postgame conference with Rivers answering questions about the recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisc. that reportedly left Jacob Blake paralyzed from the waist down. With raw emotion, Rivers blasted President Donald Trump and speakers at the Republican National Convention for sowing seeds of fear.
As seen under the replies to the video shared by NBA on TNT, vile comments from Twitter users were levied towards Rivers in his moment of visible pain.
“This country doesn’t love’s us back, coming from a man that makes 12 million a year to coach basketball, i think this country has afforded him plenty of opportunity and love to be in the position he’s in,” wrote one person.
Another added, “America has been good to you. You make 10 million a year (second highest paid coach), coaching some of the best talent today. You also played in the NBA. Your son is in the NBA. You couldn’t do this anywhere in the world. America has been good to you bro.”
In a longer video shared by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Rivers, with his voice breaking, says “I should just be a coach and I’m so often reminded of my color,” illustrating that he, like some NBA players, have had enough.
Rivers shared that is father was a police officer for three decades, even stating that there are good cops out there. But says that training has to improve and that defunding the force while also dismantling unions may be necessary.
“My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else,” Rivers said with authority.
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, and other players have been mulling over boycotting the second round of the playoffs in response to Blake’s shooting and other instances of injustice. During a media presser, reporter Taylor Rooks asked VanVleet where his thoughts were regarding the latest state of the nation.
But it’s “shut up and dribble,” right? Right.