Thunder, NBA, Fight for Social Justice in Oklahoma and America

Erik Gee

Yesterday I had a conversation with a Thunder fan who doesn't believe that politics has any place in basketball. That opinion is not surprising; sports is where people come to escape; it's supposed to be our haven from everything we disagree on, the one place where we are all equal and on the same page. 

But, what if those playing the sport don't feel the same way as some fans do? Chirs Paul is making it clear that players aren't going to "shut up and dribble."

From social messages being allowed on the back of jerseys to "Black Lives Matter" being painted on court, the NBA reboot is just as much about collective change as it is hooping. The Oklahoma City Thunder are 100 percent behind their players as it should be. 

On Tuesday, the Thunder closed its facility so players and staff could vote. Sam Presti was not shy a couple of weeks ago when he started a video conference discussing the current state of race relations in America. 

"As we say, all change is local, and I really do believe that, and in this case that starts in all of our homes, how we raise our children and how we treat one another."... "Our kids don't come into the world with this mentality." 

"It's a learned trait, and as we teach our children, all of us, the importance of equality, the importance of justice, we also now have to take to heart that we need to teach them not only that it's okay -- not that it's okay, that you should be focused on those things, but you should be also fighting and equipping them with the tools to beat back racism when they confront it, hear it or see it, and those are two really totally separate issues."

For so long, we have asked our athletes to be more than a brand; now, they have a chance to change society for the better truly. Seeing them use the rest of the season to lift people, will not only be inspiring, but it may also bring us together.

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