Before the sun even had a chance to rise Friday on America, it was clear we were in store for another emotional, uncomfortable and important day in our nation’s history.
As Minneapolis smoldered following a third consecutive night of protests of the killing of George Floyd by city police officers, the United States’ long history of racial tension was back on center stage for the entire world to see.
On Friday morning’s episode of “Get Up” on ESPN, former NBA superstar Jalen Rose was asked about the role the sports community could play in “the change and healing” after Floyd’s seemingly senseless death. A tearful Rose stepped around that topic, instead making a plea to the rest of Americastand with the black community to finally help impart actual change following the latest in a long and growing line of racial injustices.
“I wish America loved black people as much as they loved black culture,” Rose said. “There are so many times it gets cherry-picked and piggy-backed and only when it’s convenient — and sometimes it happens in entertainment and athletics. We’re not here designed only to entertain. We’re actually living and breathing human beings that have a multitude of intelligence, work ethic, discipline and talent. We’ve overcome a lot just like so many other races.”
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) May 29, 2020
He added: “We’ve been screaming out for your assistance and for your help … See us just outside of being entertainment and walk with us lock and step even when it’s uncomfortable. Because when Colin Kaepernick was taking a knee, he was ostracized, kicked out of the (NFL) and people who did not look like him did not truly stand next to him.”
It’s safe to assume Rose won’t be the only one making these sorts of passionate please, as history continues to unfold in front of us.