Utah Jazz player Kyle Korver made national news when he publicly blamed white people for “inequality” and “racism” in America. In an op-ed for the Players' Tribune, Korver claimed he has come to understand his own white privilege during his time in the NBA.
Korver said two racially charged incidents made him start thinking differently about race.
First, the white NBA player said he now feels “embarrassment” that he initially blamed Thabo Sefolosha after he was injured during an arrest in 2015.
Secondly, he revealed Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russel Westbrook getting into a verbal altercation with a Jazz fan during a game really “struck a nerve with our team.” Westbrook claims the fan yelled racial epithets at him.
“How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country?” Korver asks in the op-ed.
He continues: “I have to support leaders who see racial justice as fundamental — as something that’s at the heart of nearly every major issue in our country today. And I have to support policies that do the same.
I have to do my best to recognize when to get out of the way — in order to amplify the voices of marginalized groups that so often get lost.”
Later in the op-ed, Korver went as far as to say white people today bear “responsibility” for the sins of their forefathers.
“When it comes to racism in America, I think that guilt and responsibility tend to be seen as more or less the same thing,” he writes. “But I’m beginning to understand how there’s a real difference.”
“As white people, are we guilty for the sins of our forefathers? No, I don’t think so,” he adds. “But are we responsible for them? Yes, I believe we are.”
Read the entire op-ed here.