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Thomas said. I still remember my reaction when I first heard what happened to Thabo. It was , late in the season. When I woke up the next morning, our team group text was going nuts. Details were still hazy, but guys were saying, Thabo hurt his leg? During an arrest? Wait — he spent the night in jail?! Everyone was pretty upset and confused. He was my go-to teammate to talk with about stuff beyond the basketball world. He spoke three languages! They lived together in South Africa before Thabo was born, then left because of apartheid.

We respected each other. We were cool, you know? Anyway — on the morning I found out that Thabo had been arrested, want to know what my first thought was?

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About my friend and teammate? My first thought was: What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back?? Not, What happened during the arrest?? Not, Something seems off with this story. Nothing like that. I sort of blamed Thabo. Not unless I was doing something wrong. A few months later, a jury found Thabo not guilty on all charges.

And then the story just sort of….. It fell away from the news.

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Thabo had surgery and went through rehab. Pretty soon, another NBA season began — and we were back on the court again. A few weeks ago, something happened at a Jazz home game that brought back many of those old questions. Maybe you saw it: We were playing against the Thunder, and Russell Westbrook and a fan in the crowd exchanged words during the game. Then, after the game, one of our reporters asked me for my response to what had gone down between Russ and the fan.

He gets into it with the crowd a lot. Of course, the full story came out later that night.

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What actually happened was that a fan had said some really ugly things at close range to Russ. Russ had then responded. One teammate talked about how his mom had called him right after the game, concerned for his safety in SLC. I looked over at him, and remembered his night in NYC. Everyone was upset. But there was another emotion in the room that day, one that was harder to put a finger on. It was almost like…..

Guys were just sick and tired of it all. It was about more than that. It was about what it means just to exist right now — as a person of color in a mostly white space. I think my teammates and I all felt it was a step in the right direction. Which of course means that on the flip side, I could just as easily opt out of it. In other words, I can say every right thing in the world: I can voice my solidarity with Russ after what happened in Utah.

I can evolve my position on what happened to Thabo in New York. But I can also fade into the crowd, and my face can blend in with the faces of those hecklers, any time I want.

I realize that now. And I know I have to do better.

In my community? In this country? And I have to support policies that do the same. And I think the standard that we have to hold ourselves to, in this crucial moment….. We have to be active.

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When it comes to racism in America, I think that guilt and responsibility tend to be seen as more or less the same thing. And that those differences come from an ugly history….. And I was safe on the court that one night in Utah. But as disgraceful as it is that we have to deal with racist hecklers in NBA arenas in ?

Because at least in those cases, the racism is loud and clear. The kind that almost hides itself in plain view. But in private? People of color, they built this league. People of color have made this league into what it is today. And I mean actively support them? Usually, I just ignore them. The fact that black Americans are more than twice as likely to live in poverty as white Americans is wrong. The fact that black unemployment rates nationally are double that of overall unemployment rates is wrong.

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The fact that black imprisonment rates for drug charges are almost six times higher nationally than white imprisonment rates for drug charges is wrong. The fact that black Americans own approximately one-tenth of the wealth that white Americans own is wrong. The fact that inequality is built so deeply into so many of our most trusted institutions is wrong. But if you do want to know something? Know I believe that.

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Know that about me. Know that I believe this matters.


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Originally posted by Kyle Korver on theplayerstribune. The debate on when it is relevant to apologize and pay reparations for misdeeds and human rights violations tells us that the past is never dead. And last week the prime minister of Belgium apologized in Parliament for the kidnapping, deportation and forced adoption of thousands of children born to mixed-race couples in its former African colonies.

National apologies for misdeeds, crimes and odious behavior are not new. The reparations debate in the United States continues. A bill known as H. It called for a formal study of the impact of slavery on African-Americans living today and the development of a proposal for reparations, among other things. The bill was reintroduced this year by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. The past five centuries of world history have featured conquests, plunder, torture, genocide, slavery, occupation and worse. The trend toward asking forgiveness and making reparations is overall a good thing.

It acknowledges history while pointing a way forward, whether it be consolidating a national identity in Mexico, apologizing for atrocious colonial misdeeds in Africa or addressing inequality between blacks and whites in America. The Mexican case is especially complicated. Several polls showed Mexicans disagreed on Mr.

Historians also made several points against his stance.