Doc Rivers' words about racial injustice carry extra weight.
For proof, glance at the Aug. 25 video of the former Los Angeles Clippers coach getting choked up while discussing the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black male, by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wis. The video of the new 76ers coach went viral and has inspired the Democratic presidential nominee.
Former Vice President Joe Biden quoted Rivers while talking about social justice during his campaign speech in Gettysburg on Tuesday.
“I am honored that Vice President Biden chose my words as an example for needing social change,” Rivers said Wednesday. "These are human rights issues that we are fighting for.
“Every American should want social justice for all regardless of race, gender or political beliefs.”
It was obvious that Biden was moved by what Rivers said on Aug. 25 following the Clippers' 154-111 victory in Game 5 over the Dallas Mavericks.
“Doc Rivers, the basketball coach, choking back tears when he said, ‘We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’ve been hung. It’s amazing how we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,’ ” Biden said, recalling Rivers' comments.
Biden said he thinks about what Rivers said.
“I think about what it takes for a Black person to love America,” Biden said. "That is a deep love for this country that has for far too long never been recognized.”
Rivers showed raw emotion moments after his team took a 3-2 lead in the first-round series. The game came two nights after Blake was shot.
“All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” an emotional Rivers said of the Republican National Convention.
“We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that were denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear.”
He talked about what it’s like to be a Black male constantly reminded of his color because of shootings, such as Blake’s.
“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” Rivers said. “It’s really so sad. Like I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color.”
He spoke of being sad, how people must do better and demand better.
“It’s funny. We protest. They send riot guards,” Rivers said. “They send people in riot outfits. They go to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens.”