Protests surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd are not abating. The horrific incident had many NBA players publicly speak out, as many of them have become actively involved in showing disagreement with the system, whether through social media or by peacefully protesting on streets of the U.S. cities.
As the whole thing escalated, what were going to be peaceful gatherings turned to riots. People are understandably emotional and desperate. Floyd’s tragedy is the last in a much too long line of deaths that all have race as the common denominator. It is also important to point out a vast majority of protests are peaceful and respectful - the image a lot of media is creating grabs our attention but is not representative. LeBron pointed that out.
We’ve witnessed looting, vandalism, and freeway takeovers in some protesting venues, with one of NBA personas becoming the victim of one. J.R. Smith had his car window smashed during the riots in Los Angeles. A video of J.R. taking action into his own hands surfaced, as he took down a man who vandalized his vehicle.
Smith sent a video message addressing the incident, explaining how it wasn’t about the race, not adding any fuel to the fire. It was about an individual who broke the wrong guy’s window. J.R. decided to deal with the vandal the way he thought fit the situation, and he let him have it.
“One of these motherfu***ing white boys didn’t know where he was going and broke my f***ing window in my truck. Broke my s***. This is a residential area, no stores over here none of that s***. I chased him down and whooped his ass. This ain’t no hate crime, I ain’t got no problem with nobody who ain’t got no problem with me. This is a problem with the system. He didn’t know whose window he broke, and he got his ass whooped.”
J.R. Smith, TMZ
Smith, who is still a free agent, won’t get in trouble with the league. However, the question is whether this whole situation is going to hurt his chances of eventually getting signed, as he had his fair share of off the court problems. Given the overall reaction from NBA officials, team owners, GM’s and players, this probably won’t be a factor in determining whether to pick Smith up, given the extremes of the whole situation.
It seems May 31st will remain a thorn in J.R.’s flesh, as it’s also the second anniversary of the birth of not-knowing-the-score meme, after Smith’s blunder in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. If anyone does decide to give Smith a contract, they should put a clause in his contract putting him under house arrest on May 31st.
All jokes aside, we hope people continue to voice their anger responsibly and that a few fools looting and destroying other people’s property don’t overshadow the overwhelming majority sending an important message - "we had enough."