Since Minneapolis native George Floyd was killed on video by local police last week, Black Lives Matter protests around the country and world have raged, with players on the Los Angeles Lakers joining with demonstrators in criticizing police brutality and systemic racism both on social media and — in the case of at least Danny Green — in person.
The team also held a Zoom conference call where both LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were vocal about the issues in a discussion with various members of the organization, and the Lakers supporting all of it is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by at least one person who was on the call (via Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times):
Lakers coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka also spoke on the call Tuesday.
Team owner Jeanie Buss and Tim Harris, the president of business operations and chief operating officer, were part of the virtual conference as well.
The meeting when for about an hour.
“The Lakers did a great job letting their players have a voice,” one person said. “The Lakers understand what’s happening. They have always been about helping their community and that hasn’t stopped even now when the Lakers and others sports teams are needed the most.”
In other words, the Lakers are not asking anyone in their organization to “stick to sports,” which is probably good, because the players on the team have already made it clear that they have no interest in doing so.
If you lose followers/friends/customers/clients by supporting this movement then you had shitty followers/friends/customers/clients in the first place.— kuz (@kylekuzma) June 3, 2020
Even with the NBA’s return on the horizon, it also seems unlikely that the Lakers are going to stop speaking out on this any time soon. LeBron James in particular has a long history of speaking out on injustices and systemic racism in the United States, and he and the rest of the team will likely only continue to get louder when basketball returns and gives them an even larger platform to demonstrate.
From the sound of it, the organization will be just fine with that.