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Jeanie Buss called out a racist. The Lakers appreciated it

Jeanie Buss held true to the Lakers commitment to not stay silent about racism in the United States.

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

2020 has brought a lot of racists out of the woodwork, especially in the weeks since Minneapolis police officers killing George Floyd sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The Lakers have addressed that movement and the reform efforts it has sparked in a variety of ways, from releasing a statement saying that they “condemn racism, bigotry, violence and prejudice in all its forms,” to supporting their players as they protested, as well as bringing in activist and former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to speak to the team on a Zoom call and hiring their first ever Director of Racial Equality and Action, among other moves.

While all of that has been going on, there has simultaneously been a movement among some players — including Lakers veterans Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard — that have led calls for the NBA to reexamine its plan to resume the season, and if it’s the best thing for the progress that the Black Lives Matter movement has made. Bradley has been particularly outspoken, recently telling NBA ownership groups that if they care about their players, they can’t remain “silent and in the background” on racial issues.

On Friday, Lakers team governor Jeanie Buss answered that call, posting racist hate mail that she had received in the wake of all these changes, and saying that she wouldn’t be silent about such things anymore, all while calling on other white people to acknowledge the racism that exists in the U.S. (warning, possibly triggering language):

Buss received almost universal support from the Lakers, both current and former, in the wake of her post. LeBron James took to Instagram to say “LOVE YOU JEANIE” and offer a middle finger emoji pointed at Joe, while his teammate Kyle Kuzma highlighted that speaking out was not something he’s seen from many other people in Buss’ position:

Former Laker (and Lakers executive) Magic Johnson also wanted to thank his longtime friend and former boss for calling attention to the letter, as well as how he feels she and the Lakers have always been on the right side of history on racial issues:

In their initial statement after Floyd was killed and protests had begun around the country, the Lakers said “we hear the pain of our Black community and we will not stay silent.”

On Friday, Buss didn’t.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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