As protests against police violence have broken out across America, several NBA players have joined in as both participants and leaders in peaceful marches. On Monday, Hawks point guard Trae Young will lead a demonstration at Andrews Park in Norman, Oklahoma.
Young joins a long line of NBA players who have spoken out against racial injustice and police brutality in America -- issues that have boiled over and risen to the forefront of society in the wake of a Minneapolis police officer murdering a black man named George Floyd last week.
On Saturday, Atlanta natives Jaylen Brown and Malcolm Brogdon led a peaceful protest in downtown Atlanta, where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led peaceful marches for the same cause over 50 years ago.
Several Hawks players -- including Young, Treveon Graham, De'Andre Hunter, and Cam Reddish -- have posted messages on social media condemning the hate and racism coursing through American society, and on Sunday night, Young released a longer statement about the situation via an Instagram video:
This is a crazy time in our world right now. Just here to really express to y'all how I feel.
I'm feeling a lot of different emotions right now. Mad, sad, heartbroken, frustrated -- it's everything. I've been blessed enough to be raised by a proud black man in my dad, who taught me and my sisters, and now my little brother, a lot about black history and our generation and where he came from. It's just sad. it's a sad time. One thing my dad always taught me was to always remember how we're looked at in society, and I'm realizing it now more than ever. Regardless of what I do -- whether it's being an NBA player or playing the piano -- whatever it is, I know how I'm looked at in society. I've been praying every day for George's family. This is a sad time, y'all. I can't even put it into words how I'm feeling right now.
This is just different. I feel like this is necessary to let people know how you feel. Speak up. Say how you feel. It's not a bad thing. I'm praying justice is served and I'm praying for the people that are protesting. I know there's protests going on everywhere in the country right now, and i want people to remain safe and I want people to get their point across as well.
I'm still praying and I really do believe justice will be served. I really do believe that.
Also on Sunday, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin made a strong declaration against the "cowardly" silence of some people on this issue, and head coach Lloyd Pierce has spoken out several times against the racial discrimination that has become so prevalent in America.