One concern about the return of live sports — mainly basketball — was that it would be a distraction from the conversation about social injustice. But basketball players are doing their part in making sure that’s not the case.
Voices across the league have stood up and demanded justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home on March 13 after the Louisville Metro Police Department served a no-knock search warrant for narcotics at her apartment. No drugs were found.
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LeBron James is the latest athlete to speak up about Taylor’s death.
“I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation,” James said after the Lakers’ scrimmage against the Mavs. “As one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know, and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for her and we want justice.”
One of three officers on the scene, Brett Hankison, was fired on June 23, and the other two officers have been placed on administrative leave. Hankison’s “actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a letter to Hankison. The letter said Hankison “blindly fired” 10 rounds into the apartment.
Tobias Harris and Mike Scott of the Sixers have spoken up. Kemba Walker and Jerami Grant have deflected questions about basketball during press conferences.
The battle for James goes even further. He’s been one of the biggest advocates in sports for social justice.
James is part of a group called “more than a vote” that is making a push to change the ex-felon vote in Florida. The group is helping pay court debts and fees so ex-felons can cast ballots in the November presidential election.
Along with James, the group includes Black athletes and performing artists helping to combat systemic, racist voter suppression.
Jamal Adams has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a member of the New York Jets, but the reasons are still coming. His latest explanation details a fractured relationship with head coach Adam Gase.
“I don’t feel like he’s the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land,” Adams said to the New York Daily News. “As a leader, what really bothers me is that he doesn’t have a relationship with everybody in the building.”
He went on to discuss how Gase’s assistants are more likely to challenge players. Adams prides himself on being a vocal leader, so if these comments are true, it’s little surprise he doesn’t connect with Gase.
Todd Bowles was Adams’ coach in his first two seasons with the Jets. Bowles was fired after back-to-back 5-11 records. The Jets went 4-12 in Gase’s first season.
Adams said he does plan to report to camp with the Jets, but his days in New York may be numbered.
Notre Dame has one of the most powerful and profitable football programs in the country. The Big 10 and PAC-12 have announced they’ll be playing conference-only schedules, and the other Power 5 leagues may be joining soon.
Where does that leave Notre Dame? Apparently, in the ACC. College football writer Brett McMurphy reported that the Irish could be playing an ACC-dominated schedule and could even factor into the conference’s standings.
For college football fans, this means a real threat to Clemson is on the way. The Tigers have gone undefeated the last two seasons and have just two conference losses in the last five years. The Irish are projected to be a contender this season with quarterback Ian Book returning.