Considering how well the Oklahoma City Thunder are playing right now, it’s okay to get excited about them. It’s not okay, apparently, to make a YouTube parody rap video telling people to “Thunder their butt off” while being employed by the Thunder. “Lunchmeat,” the masked gentleman in the video who was previously a “stormchaser” for the Thunder, was fired for making this video.
The video doesn’t appear to be offensive at all, but if “lunchmeat” did sign a contract that said he couldn’t do this, he probably should have thought a little harder before imploring people to Thunder their butts off whilst identifying himself as a Thunder employee. (Seriously, between the pseudonym and the mask, would the Thunder really have recognized him if he didn’t explicitly say he was a Thunder employee, considering the video only has 2,537 views as of this writing?) Of course, we don’t know exactly what “lunchmeat” promised not to do when he signed his contract, so the Thunder may simply be in the wrong on this one. We’ll see if there’s any fallout from this.
PBT Extra: Spurs showed Warriors have work to do defensively
Nobody expected what happened Tuesday night in the Bay Area.
If you had said “San Antonio would beat Golden State by five” most people would have said that’s a possibility — but nobody saw a 29-point thrashing. A game where the Spurs were never threatened and where Kawhi Leonard looked like the MVP.
What does it mean? In this PBT Extra I talk about how the Spurs showed the Warriors they have some work to do on the defensive end. The Warriors clearly miss the rim protection and rebounding of Andrew Bogut, and they are going to have to make that up as a team (because Zaza Pachulia is no Bogut). The Warriors also have 81 more games to figure it out.
Cleveland, on the other hand, has it figured out.
Anthony Davis becomes first player since Michael Jordan to score 50 in opener – and adds 16-5-7-4
“The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
This is a continuation of Carmelo Anthony‘s argument: The emphasis should be on action in communities and there’s no longer a place for gestures like Colin Kaepernick kneeling.
But this needn’t be an either/or discussion. Community-based action is obviously important (though don’t assign responsibility to NBA players to fix racism). Recognizing the width and depth of the problem is necessary – which is why symbols matter, too.
Take Street’s shirt at face value. “We matter.” “Black lives matter.” What’s so offensive about that? There is no implicit “more” attached.
Yet, the 76ers found it antithetical to their brand.
Is that what players were demonstrating on behalf of during the preseason? I’m sure that arena was much more united with a 76ers dancer singing the anthem than it would have been with Streeter spotlighted. But sometimes divisiveness is necessary to advance a cause.
If the 76ers don’t want Streeter using their platform to say “WE MATTER,” that’s their right. Not everyone has to support that choice, though.
Sevyn Streeter says 76ers prevented her from performing national anthem due to ‘WE MATTER’ jersey