The tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks, California that left 12 people dead and 18 others injured was just the latest mass shooting to leave a community shaken and wounded. On Sunday, before their game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers will be the latest to join the chorus of people saying “enough.”
According to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, the Lakers and Hawks will wear t-shirts with the names of the 12 people slain in Thousand Oaks on the back and “Enough” written on the front as they go through warmups before they take on the Hawks.
Update: the plan is for the Lakers and the Hawks to do this tomorrow night before their game at Staples Center. pic.twitter.com/CZ6Q2LaY8f— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 10, 2018
Clippers and Bucks wearing shirts that say “Enough” pregame with the names of the Thousand Oaks shooting victims on the back. pic.twitter.com/ehK3sFCd4s— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 10, 2018
It’s not surprising that the Lakers want to get involved in the calls for change after this latest horrific act of violence, especially not with head coach Luke Walton so strongly addressing the shooting following the Lakers’ practice on Friday.
"But it's important that we always talk about it instead of just pushing it to the side. We love basketball, we're here to play basketball, but there's bigger things going on. Obviously, with the wildfires, too, hope that people's homes are OK and that they're going to be safe."— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) November 9, 2018
This will also be the Lakers’ first political statement since LeBron James joined the team. James has been a vocal advocate for change in the United States for years, including posing for a powerful photo in hoodies with several Miami Heat teammates after the death of Trayvon Martin, and joining with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade to call for an increase in social activism from athletes at the 2016 ESPYs:
“Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT,” he said. “But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”
A shirt might be just a shirt, but it would seem the Lakers are at the very least on the right track towards being the types of professional athletes James called for two years ago, and maybe together they can inspire a few more people to say “enough.”
The Lakers tip against the Hawks at 6:30 p.m. local time, with their team warmups in the shirts commemorating the victims of Thousand Oaks starting around 30 minutes prior to the game.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.