Fighting back tears, NBA All-Star player and TNT analyst Chris Webber offered a powerful statement after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play in protest of racial injustice and the shooting of unarmed black man Jacob Blake on Wednesday night.
“I’m very proud of the players,” said Webber of the walkout. “I keep hearing about next steps, next steps. I don’t really care what the next steps are because the first steps are to garner attention. They have everybody’s attention around the world now. We know it won’t end tomorrow. We know there have been a million marches, and nothing will change tomorrow. We keep hearing vote. ‘Everybody vote.’ But I’m here to speak for those who are always marginalized. Those that live in these neighborhoods, and we tell them to vote, and then we just walk away.”
“If not, now when?” Webber asked. “If not during a pandemic, when countless lives are being lost — if not now when? We know nothing is going to change. We get it. Martin Luther King Jr. got shot and risked his life. Medgar Evers. We’ve seen this — all of our heroes constantly taken down. We understand it’s not going to end. But that does not mean young men, that you don’t do anything. Don’t listen to these people telling you, ‘Don’t do anything because it’s not going to end right away.’ You are starting something for the next generation and the next generation to take over. Do you have to be smart? Yes. Do you have to make sure you have a plan? Yes. Do you have to be articulate about that plan? Yes. All of those things.”
Former President Barack Obama also commended the players.