This post is a substitute for the August 15th Brew Hoop Night Shift. Apologies to Greg and his fans. Please remember: as a general rule, non-basketball topics are permitted in an open thread, provided that they follow the SB Nation Community Guidelines.
Jabari Parker has always been more than just a basketball player. He’s a student of the game, sure, but also has expressed interest in politics, current affairs, and community involvement. Parker’s injuries may have kept him from the NBA spotlight, but he has (unwittingly) sought the spotlight of an entirely different arena.
During his remarks at the rally in Utah, Parker touched on his upbringing and background, as well as that of his family, worked in a hidden Kendrick Lamar reference, but quickly got to the point of his trip to the microphone.
“I would be doing a disservice for my people if I didn’t come here today. So I’m here to speak for diversity. I’m diverse. It’s in my DNA. I love my culture. I love you.
“And hopefully I can get a few more professional athletes to do the same. …
“I want to set the record straight: we all came here to build, not to destroy. We came out here because we don’t hate them, we just don’t like them. But they hate us.”
“We all came here to build, not to destroy.”
Regardless of your background, upbringing, beliefs, or allegiances, today was (another) day in a series of days that brought a great deal of turmoil, anger, and pain to the forefront of the American experience. Brew Hoop and SB Nation are not necessarily the places to dissect the many sides of that conversation, given that the different aspects of the current state of affairs are sensitive to some, outrageous to others, and both to many.
Jabari has a lot to prove this year as the Milwaukee Bucks prepare for another season. He may succeed. He may fall short. But Jabari’s willingness to stand up for what he believes in, push his peers to do the same, and profess a message of love and inclusion is remarkable; not just in professional sports, but in life. I speak for myself when I say that I wish I could do more of the same in my own life, but I think more of you will agree with me than not.
Brew Hoop is a basketball website, and will remain a basketball website. We will generally, as they say, “stick to sports.” However, we are glad that members of our favorite team are willing to expand their voice to include more than just sports.