“The pictures are horrific”
Brutal police death shakes NBA
01/28/2023 11:22 am
Five police officers have to answer for the death of a black man during a traffic stop in the USA. Basketball in the USA is shaken. “We can’t lose our humanity,” warns NBA star Chris Pau. The league is appalled by the police violence.
The death of black driver Tire Nichols at the hands of the police has caused dismay in the NBA. After the video recordings published on Friday, coaches and players from the North American professional basketball league and the NBA commented. “The images of Tire Nichols’ needlessly shortened life are appalling,” the NBA said in a statement. “While accountability has already been taken, the NBA family remains committed to working with attorneys, policymakers and law enforcement to find solutions to… to find the problems we continue to face.”
Nichols died Jan. 7 at a Memphis police stop after officers punched and kicked him. The five police officers have already been dismissed from service and charged. Like the victim, they are black. A board member of the Black Lives Matter movement said anyone working in a system that uses state-sanctioned violence is complicit in perpetuating white supremacy. Assimilation into an anti-black system is one of the most dangerous weapons of white supremacy, it said.
“We must not lose our humanity”
The Memphis-based basketball team played in Minneapolis, the city where a black man, George Floyd, was also killed by police violence in 2020. Ahead of the Timberwolves-Grizzlies game, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said, “The senseless death of Tire Nicholas has hit us really hard. I wish I could stretch my arms through the camera to the family. They’re going through a lot.” A minute’s silence was held before the Minnesota-Memphis game. Grizzlies player Jaren Jackson Jr. addressed words to Nichols’ family on Twitter: “We are with you,” Jackson Jr. wrote. “Peacefully protesting, supporting the family and urging accountability are important at this moment.”
The NBA players’ union stated that “such aggressive policing and excessive use of force continues to illustrate the need for accountability in the justice system.” Phoenix Suns player Chris Paul, who is also president of the players’ union, wrote on Twitter: “Change is needed at all levels, we all have to do our part. We cannot lose our humanity as a society.”