Political Activism and Expression in Today’s NBA

Can basketball serve as a conduit of change for and make an impact on issues of racial justice in today’s society?

The Steve Mills ’81 Sports, Race and Society Lecture is presented by Princeton African American Studies and the Princeton Department of Athletics.

 

Overview from the Princeton Alumni Weekly – 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a Princeton audience that when a handful of the league’s stars wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warmups last year, following a Staten Island, N.Y., grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, he appreciated their effort to express their point of view.

Speaking about Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the first player to wear the shirt, Silver said, “Credit to him — he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew how much more effective that would be than making a statement to a reporter after a game.” But Silver cautioned that too many political statements on the court would be “a disservice to the fans, who come to see a basketball game.”

Steve Mills ’81, general manager of the New York Knicks, and Craig Robinson ’83, an ESPN commentator and former college coach, joined Silver for the March 24 discussion of “Political Expression and Activism in Today’s NBA,” moderated by Professor Eddie Glaude *97.

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