San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan joined other famous Southern California natives at a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Sunday afternoon.
Growing up in Compton, CA sheds light on a lot of issues that people stemming from other areas may not be privy to. For San Antonio Spurs wing DeMar DeRozan, roots in Compton have made him a witness to the injustices faced by the Black community. In light of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the citizens of Compton joined together to protest racial injustice and promote the Black Lives Matter movement.
DeRozan joined those marches on Sunday, June 7 along with a handful of noteworthy participants including Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook and famed rapper Kendrick Lamar.
It was only a matter of time before DeRozan took part in protests. The 30-year-old shooting guard/small forward has been relatively quiet on these matters of racial injustice since Floyd was murdered just a short while ago. He stepped up for his community and spoke in front of the crowd to garner support for the cause and provide a rallying point for those who’re tired of these injustices.
The issue of police violence isn’t new for DeRozan, who had a friend gunned down by police back In 2016. He spoke to the media about it just weeks after the incident and CBC reporter Lori Ewing detailed their conversation in an article regarding the Toronto Raptors’ response.
“I had a close friend of mine a couple of weeks ago that was murdered by the police, shot 17 times,
“It was something I haven’t spoke out about, it was moreso of just understanding what’s going on in our society and how much I can help.
“Anything we do, we’re supporting one another, and that’s what it’s all about, being able to try to make a difference, and understanding everybody’s point of view, thought process.”
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This comes at the same time that the Spurs have created their own initiative to combat racial injustice: #SpursVoices, a comprehensive campaign with the intention of sharing the stories of their organization members. They ask that fans and spectators listen instead of trying to insert personal biases into the dialogue.
It also coincides with the most we’ve heard from head coach Gregg Popovich in weeks. He appeared on a podcast and spoke with media multiple times, criticizing the President of the United States for his response to the national outrage and discussing what White people can do to support the cause and their Black counterparts on a daily basis.
We’ve also seen protests throughout the country and in our own cities. Protests in San Antonio have continuously popped up and sophomore Lonnie Walker IV has been there to support. The day after the initial protest in the River City, Walker took to the streets, cleaning up graffiti and supporting local businesses in the aftermath of raucous events. He was also seen marching in a protest alongside shooting guard Bryn Forbes.
The Spurs organization is getting involved to protect their fans and inform those who don’t face the same fear as their Black fans. It’s evident that the franchise and it’s players want change.