Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver Reflects on Racism in Heartfelt Tribune Story
In a powerful piece titled, “Privileged” Kyle Korver offers his thoughts and reflects on racism and race relations in America, from his perspective, as a white man playing in the NBA. In sharing his own experiences, he cites the 2015 arrest of his teammate Thabo Sefolosha who was wrongfully arrested and assaulted and the recent event last month between Russell Westbrook and a fan in Utah.
I've been trying to write this for a while. https://t.co/Qkt8aoVtdE
— Kyle Korver (@KyleKorver) April 8, 2019
“There’s an elephant in the room that I’ve been thinking about a lot over these last few weeks,” Korver writes. “It’s the fact that, demographically, if we’re being honest: I have more in common with the fans in the crowd at your average NBA ame than I have with the players on the court.”
“What I’m realizing is, no matter how passionately I commit to being an ally, and no matter how unwavering my support is for the NBA and WNBA players of color…I’m still in this conversation from the privileged perspective of opting into it,” he wrote. “Which of course means that on the flip side, I could just as easily opt out of it. Every day, I’m given that choice- I’m granted that privilege- based on the color of my skin.”
Thus far, the reception to Korver’s piece has been welcomed with a great deal of respect and gratitude, with many players including LeBron James, Jeremy Lin and Nick Collison taking to social media to voice their appreciation and support.
Salute my brother!! Means a lot. And like you said I hope people listen, just open your ears and listen. 🙏🏾‼️‼️ https://t.co/qBrd2H27x0
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 8, 2019
This is so well done. Thank you Kyle. RT @PlayersTribune: “I know that, as a white man, I have to hold my fellow white men accountable.”@KyleKorver on the @NBA, racism and privilege. https://t.co/YeQWtkd6a4
— Nick Collison (@nickcollison4) April 8, 2019
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) April 8, 2019
Korver went on to discuss his own feelings of guilt and responsibility and offered ways that he and other white players in the NBA can help address racism.
“I know that as a white man, I have to hold my fellow white men accountable,” he writes. “ We all have to hold each other accountable. Not just for our own actions, but also for the ways that our inaction can create a ‘safe’ space for toxic behaviour.”
You can read the full piece here.