Stephen Jackson: Kyrie Irving has been calling me crying since George Floyd’s death
George Floyd's death was a personal loss for former NBA player Stephen Jackson. Like many others, Jackson used this tragedy as a starting point to campaign for racial justice.
Network star Kyrie Irving has taken a leadership role in the fight against systematic racism. Among Irving's reported proposals for this purpose: NBA players are more likely to sit outside than play in Disney World.
Kendrick Perkins questioned how Irving developed this posture after recently expressing interesting Brooklyn teammates in the bubble. Perkins said Irving, who was out for the season due to an injury, only changed after being told he couldn't go.
At the first press conference I had, he called me on FaceTime almost every day. He was enthusiastic about it and from the conversation he had, I just think that he understands this moment. And he's just like me. I don't have all the answers. And he speaks from the heart. He speaks of passion. Because - I didn't say that in any interview - he called me to cry because he literally knows that I'm putting everything at risk.
I have no doubt that Irving sincerely wants to act against systematic racism.
The question is how NBA players who stayed out of the rest of their season became his tactic. This would entail significant financial costs for players and reduce a platform that they have successfully used in recent years to support change. In the meantime, Irving - who has already made a lot of money, is just starting a new maximum contract and is injured - has fewer disadvantages.
Irving can and should make a personal decision about how to proceed. He also asks other players to sit down. At this point, it becomes important to gain a better understanding of his plan, which can be achieved in part by evaluating his motivations.
When Irving is subjected to a fair and unfair trial, I'm glad Jackson highlighted one of Irving's motives - a real desire to change systematic racism.
Stephen Jackson: Kyrie Irving has made me cry on NBCSports.com since George Floyd's death
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