Knicks, Spurs join #BlackoutTuesday, remain only NBA teams without statement on George Floyd

Jun 3, 2020

SOCIAL media accounts of celebrities and other global figures went dark on Tuesday night (Manila time), as they took part in #BlackoutTuesday to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Begun by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, the two called on the industry to use June 2, Tuesday, as a “day to take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we collectively need to take to support the Black community.”

As Tuesday night showed on our social media feeds, the Blackout Tuesday campaign had spread far beyond the music industry.

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    On the NBA front, many of the league’s biggest names also participated, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Ja Morant, Trae Young, Draymond Green, Chris Paul, Tristan Thompson, Rudy Gay, and more, in an almost uncountable show of solidarity against racial injustice.

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    James, one of the most outspoken players in the NBA, was content to caption his post with a crown, adding the hashtags #blackouttuesday and #BLM (for Black Lives Matter).

    Even Vanessa Bryant and former players like Tony Parker also posted the simple black image.

    PBA players like Calvin Abueva, Chris Ross, Joe Devance, Thirdy Ravena, and Jared Dillinger also took part.

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    Perhaps galvanized by the posts of their own players, NBA teams and the official NBA account also followed suit, posting a black image on their feeds. Some even changed their profile pictures to match the post.

    These include both the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs, who are, as of posting, the only two NBA teams to not release an official statement on George Floyd, whose brutal death ignited the current protests.

    Reports say that Knicks owner James Dolan, a known Trump supporter, sent an internal memo to the organization yesterday explaining the reason for the Knicks’ silence. In a copy obtained by ESPN, Dolan wrote: “We at Madison Square Garden stand by our values of respect and peaceful workplace. We always will. As companies in the business of sports and entertainment, however, we are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters."

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    Fil-am correspondent Pablo S. Torre, who works for ESPN, reported that Knicks players and employees are furious at the Dolan memo.

    On the Spurs end, numerous players in the Texas-based team have expressed their support for the ongoing protests and condemned racial injustice. Yesterday, head coach Gregg Popovich went on a vicious tirade against Donald Trump, calling him ‘a deranged idiot’ for failing to lead the country in the middle of this racial crisis.

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    The organization, however, has stayed silent, except for a simple #BlackoutTuesday post with the caption "Black Lives Matter".

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