Within the Walt Disney World bubble the focus for most is strictly basketball. However, the ongoing social justice fight in America is something that is extremely important to many across the league from players to coaches and executives.
The majority of the league is African-American and many organizations have been at the forefront in speaking out against racial injustice, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
Most of the focus has gone to LeBron James, who has long been one of the most outspoken athletes in the world on any issue he deems important, as well as Dwight Howard who has been very open about his desire to fight this fight.
But the Lakers organization has also taken steps as a franchise and head coach Frank Vogel has spoken out as well. As a whole, they are on one accord when it comes to the social justice fight.
“Our whole organization has really been aggressive with action items,” Vogel said. “I think most notable, hiring Dr. Karida Brown as an educator to come in and assess our organization and make sure we’re creating the right change within our organization.”
The Lakers announced the hiring of Dr. Karida Brown as the team’s Director of Racial Equity and Action in June after looking internally and realizing there was more that they could do within the organization.
“I think that’s where this problem needs to be tackled more than anywhere, is for everyone across the country to look within. We want to be very vocal on it,” Vogel added.
“I know we’re doing some things with the Coaches Association to keep the conversation going, because we fully, fully, fully support the Black Lives Matter movement. I feel like we as a country have never been in a position of strength to affect change, like we’re in right now. It’s a critical time.”
With the league as a whole, along with most teams, players, and coaches all looking to push this message, it makes it far more likely that real change can happen. The NBA has a large platform and while it was a concern that this social justice message could be lost amidst the return of basketball, coaches like Vogel, Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, and everyone else involved won’t allow that to happen.
Alex Caruso wants justice for Breonna Taylor
The fight against racial inequality is obviously an important one for African-Americans throughout the country, but many white people have stepped up and spoken out as well as a sign of solidarity.
That is the case within the NBA as many white players have been very open about their desire for justice and support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Lakers point guard Alex Caruso has been one of the biggest.
Caruso will wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of his jersey and in a recent media conference call, called for justice for the killing of Breonna Taylor. “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.
The players being united on such a message shows just how important this is to many across the league. Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers did the same thing in his conference call with the media and there is clearly an effort being put forth to make sure this fight doesn’t get lost as everyone focuses on basketball.
“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.”
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!