NBA players have demonstrated during the national anthem while mostly avoiding taking a meaningful stance on anything.
By wearing “TC” patches and pins on their warmups before last night’s game in Tulsa, Okla., the Thunder and Grizzlies picked a side.
They’re with an unarmed black man, Terrence Crutcher, who was shot and killed by Tulsa police while holding his hands up.
According to a Thunder team official, with Thursday’s game being held in Tulsa, players approached management with the idea of raising awareness and came up with the idea of a patch. The Crutcher family were guests of the organization.
“Once you’re here in Tulsa, you have to show respect to the family and show your regards and send your love,” Thunder star Russell Westbrook said after the game. “Especially me personally, I thought it was very, very important to be able to do that and show that we support them and we are behind his family and support anything they need from us or the organization, we can help them out.”
Crutcher was shown to have PCP in his system at the time of his death, which has been used to smear him. More reasonably, the police – who acknowledged they recognized him possibly being influenced by drugs – should have realized that could hinder his ability to comply with orders. Once more: Even if Crutcher wasn’t directly following orders, he had his hands up.
Using drugs should not mean a death sentence at the hands of the police, though too many have labeled Crutcher a criminal and justified the shooting on those grounds. This is why there’s a protest movement called Black Lives Matter.
Good for the Thunder and Grizzlies for standing behind Crutcher and bringing awareness to this situation.