- Chris Webber spoke in support of the NBA players’ decision to refuse to play on Wednesday to protest Jacob Blake’s police shooting.
- Webber, holding back tears, explained why it was important to fight for justice, even when you know change is a long way off.
- Webber cheered the players for laying the foundation for generations to come.
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Former NBA player Chris Webber gave an emotional speech Wednesday in response to the Milwaukee Bucks and following the decision by the rest of the league players to boycott their playoff games on Wednesday.
While a full day of NBA playoffs were on the schedule, the Bucks refused to take the field for their game against the Orlando Magic to protest Jacob Blake’s police shooting. A few minutes after the Bucks made their intentions clear, the rest of the teams scheduled to play followed suit – no games would be played on Wednesday.
Speaking to TNT’s Inside the NBA, Webber launched a powerful call to action in support of players, holding back tears and explaining why it’s important to keep fighting even when it seemed like change was a long way off.
“I wanted to have a voice here because I feel like we just have the same pair of voices talking these days,” Webber began.
“We know there have been a million gears and nothing will change tomorrow,” Webber said. “We know” Vote. “We keep hearing” Vote, everybody votes. “But I’m here to speak for those who are always marginalized, those who live in these neighborhoods where we preach and tell them to vote and leave.
“If not now when? If not during a pandemic and countless lives lost, if not now, when? That’s all I want to hear from the rest of the night, when everyone is pontificating, thinking, making soap and all.”
Webber said that while it was clear that change wasn’t going to come immediately, it wasn’t a reason to give up the fight.
“We know that nothing will change. We understand. Martin Luther King was killed … We have seen it in all our heroes, constantly shot down. We understand that it will not end. But that doesn’t mean guys you don’t do anything.
“Don’t listen to these people telling you ‘Don’t do anything because it won’t be over soon.’ You are starting something for the next generation and the next generation to take over.
“You have to be smart? Yes. You have to make sure you have a plan? Yes. You have to be articulate on that plan? Yes. All of these things. But that’s what you’re going to do. They’re professionals. They know how to be their best. And so I applaud that. . I applaud him because it is the young people who lead the way “.
—NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
Webber wasn’t the only former player to be with players inside the bubble after he decided to protest. One of the hosts of “Inside the NBA”, Kenny Smith, walked off the set moments after the broadcast began.
“As a black man, as a former player, I think it’s better for me to support the players, and just not be here tonight,” Smith said.
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