If it’s up to one man, NBA and NFL players will discourage young players from attending the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. One Detroit Lions player says it’s up to how players feel regarding another round of NFL protests. The recent Breonna Taylor verdict has raised some questions on whether it will lead to an NFL boycott or more action from the NBA players.
The Breonna Taylor verdict has some athletes fuming, saddened
Wednesday afternoon, one police officer was indicted for shooting through walls into other apartments when the Breonna Taylor verdict was read. No office was charged in the shooting death of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman. Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment during a police raid that resulted in the death of Taylor.
The verdict sent shockwaves through the country, including the sports world. Many athletes voiced their opinions on the decision. “I’ve been lost for words today,” LeBron James wrote on Twitter. “I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors’ apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy-hearted!”
Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone also share his feelings with reporters Wednesday. “That’s just been tragic,” he said. “I know we’ve been using our platform down here to try to bring about education and a voice in a lot of players on our team, especially also spoken out on justice for Breonna Taylor. We have not gotten that justice. That’s a shame. Hopefully that will change at some point.”
Jesse Jackson calls for boycott of Kentucky universities
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has also come out and voiced his displeasure with the Breonna Taylor verdict. Jackson is calling for NBA and NFL players to help discourage young athletes from attending the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. This came Wednesday, after a grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky failed to charge any of the police officers with Taylor’s death.
“The players in the WNBA, NFL & NBA must discourage high profile athletes, basketball & football players, from going to the University of Kentucky & the University of Louisville,” Jackson wrote on Twitter. “We must make economic life in KY inconvenient. This tactic has always worked for oppressed people.”
Jackson went on to write that Taylor’s death creates anger. He wants Kentucky to pay the price. “The death of #BreonnaTaylor murdered by police in her home at night, creates anger,” Jackson wrote. “In 41 days there will be a new President. In 41 days, there will be a new AG and in the meantime, Kentucky should be off limits. There must be massive peaceful protests. We must march to the polls.”
Detroit Lions’ Trey Flowers gives thoughts on possible protests
The verdict in the Breonna Taylor case sparked a new wave of protests across the country. Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers said those protests could extend to the NFL. Flowers, according to The Detroit Free Press, said he wasn’t quite up to date on the news surrounding the verdict on Wednesday, but wouldn’t be surprised if those demonstrations reached the NFL.
“It could lead to whatever it leads to,” Flowers said. “It’s just as far as what people feel and how people feel as far as what can be affected, so I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Flowers did say the verdict was not a topic of discussion among the Lions’ players Wednesday, but said that could change. “I really just kind of heard that so I ain’t really got any thoughts on that,” Flowers said. “But it’s definitely tough. Obviously, for her family, I feel like it’s something that they probably don’t think that they received justice and that’s what you really (want). My heart breaks for them.”