Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso is joining a growing list of players who are foregoing the standard media availability to discuss the murder of Breonna Taylor.
While in the Walt Disney World bubble, a few players each day sit down with the media to answer various questions. That has shifted in recent and become a time where players can speak their minds on injustice.
It can all be traced back to the initial call for justice when the NBA was first discussing its restart. A player’ coalition formed amid concerns that returning while nationwide protests were taking place would serve as a distraction to the issues facing the United States.
To combat this, players are using their time in the bubble to promote issues that are important to them, like getting justice for the murder of Taylor, a black woman who was killed in her sleep by police in Louisville in March.
Caruso, when asked about playing in the playoffs, responded with a plea for justice. “Outside of my sister’s wedding questions, anything today that you ask about basketball, I’m just going to respond with we need justice for Breonna Taylor,” he said.
Caruso then reiterated the players are aligned in keeping social justice messages in the spotlight. “Just got information from the rest of the players about trying to stay united,” he said.
“This is one way we can control it from inside the bubble. It seems to be an important thing. It’s been four months since she was murdered in her sleep, and nobody has been held accountable. It’s just a collection of all the players.
“It’s something we want to be steadfast in and continuing to be able to get messages out that are not forgotten with the restart of the season. It’s such an important time in the world and a lot of our lives to be able to create and impact change. It starts with getting justice for Breonna.”
Caruso admitted he didn’t learn about Taylor’s death until the murder of George Floyd, a moment that highlighted so many issues.
This is a perfect example of players using their platforms to do good in the world. Although they are in a bubble in Orlando, and their primary purpose there is to play basketball, they still want to help enact change.
This was exactly what the likes of Kyrie Irving, Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard had in mind when they spoke about potentially skipping the restart to focus on these issues.
It seems as though the messaging from NBA players in the bubble is consistent: they want justice and they will not talk about anything else until they do.
Caruso wearing “Black Lives Matter”
With the NBA allowing players to choose from a pre-determined list of social justice messages to put on the back of their jersey, Caruso decided to go with “Black Lives Matter,” a phrase he feels extremely connected to.
“I went through the ones that I thought would be important to me and impactful to wear,” he explained. “I thought about the people that look up to me, the people that watch me play and the people that tell me on Instagram, Twitter, random spots in L.A. or back home, that they look up to me and I’m an inspiration to them with where I’ve gotten and the way I play.
“A lot of those things went into it, and ‘Black Lives Matter’ seemed to be the one that just struck a chord with me and I thought would be the most impactful.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!