Spurs rookie Lonnie Walker: ‘Will never celebrate 4th of July. Know your history’

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Major NBA free-agent decisions have hijacked July 4 the last few years – Gordon Hayward to the Celtics in 2017, Kevin Durant to the Warriors in 2016, LaMarcus Aldridge to the Spurs in 2015.

But the holiday was quiet this year, Amir Johnson returning to the 76ers the biggest move. That allowed people around the league to enjoy the day’s festivities.

Spurs rookie Lonnie Walker apparently didn’t partake, though.

Walker:

We celebrate July 4 as a national independence day, but only whites achieved a level of independence worth celebrating in 1776. Though we’ve made huge strides, the United States has not adequately reconciled the racism in its past – and present. By celebrating July 4, perhaps, on some level, we’re perpetuating an and inaccurate and harmful rosy version of history. If we don’t accurately recognize how blacks have been and are treated in this country, we’ll never properly address it.

I’d argue the Declaration of Independence set us all on a course toward greater freedom and is worth celebrating. Have we always upheld the document’s creed “that all men are created equal”? No. But declaring that noble intention was progress. It represents what we should strive for, and at times have strived for, as a nation.

Perhaps, it’s harder for Walker than me to look past America’s repeated failings on that front and focus on the idealized dream. As a black man, he has had different experiences than me, a white man. So, I don’t begrudge his stance, even if it differs from mine.

Our freedom of speech, constitutionally protected in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, is part of what makes America great and worth celebrating – even though it’s far from perfect.