The Toronto Raptors are planning on taking a stand against police brutality.
Raptors all-star DeMar DeRozan was asked during a media conference on Monday if the team was going to take a stance on the controversial issue.
“We all as individuals…have been through different things in our lives and it is definitely a sensitive thing that I think I will definitely take an approach to it,” DeRozan said.
DeRozan said there is something he hasn’t yet spoken out about that personally impacted him with police.
“I had a close friend of mine a couple of weeks ago that was murdered by the police, shot seventeen times,” he said.
“It was something I haven’t spoke out about. It was more so just understanding what is going on in society and how much I can help.”
When asked specifically what the Raptors were planning on doing, DeRozan didn’t comment, but said, “We will, and I will for sure” do something to try and make a difference.
He added that the team is making sure anything they do, they do it in support of each other.
“Not everyone grew up in Compton so their point of view may be different than mine,” DeRozan said. “Having that dialogue and getting everyone together and asking how we can be beneficial to the outside world.”
The National Basketball Players Association recently released a statement asking players to come up with ways to create “positive change” in communities around the country. The statement comes in response to protests in other sports about racial oppression and other social matters.
Players received a memo from the NBA on Wednesday saying the league and the union, “working together, have begun developing substantive ways for us to come together and take meaningful action.”
The memo did not remind players of the NBA’s rules requiring players to stand for the national anthems.
Some athletes have chosen not to stand during the anthem in recent weeks to protest police brutality.
NFL player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the US anthem during a game, saying he was trying to take a stance against the oppression of black people in America.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said the team has talked about what to do and that it is an ongoing conversation.
“I think it is our job, as leaders here, to have conversations about it,” Casey said. “All I tell our guys is to be informed…and do it from the heart…it should be about bringing awareness to the situation and what’s going on.”
Casey said that in all his time in Toronto he hasn’t experienced racial prejudice.
“Canada is a beautiful country, we don’t have those issues here,” he said. “To disrespect the flag here, is wasting your time and energy on something that is not here.”
“We probably have…the most diverse city in the NBA, I would argue that with anybody,”