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Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver writes op-ed on racism, privilege

Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 08, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz star Kyle Korver is getting attention Monday for a passionate op-ed piece titled "Privileged." It was published in the online magazine The Player's Tribune.

Korver writes about racism in the NBA, acknowledging in a truly vulnerable way how he's holding himself accountable for his self-proclaimed white privilege.

The first line of Korver's op-ed reads "when police break your teammate's leg you'd think it would wake you up a little."

Korver is referring to an incident in New York City in 2015 where his teammate, Thabo Sefolosha, was arrested outside a nightclub. In the scuffle with police, Sefolosha broke his leg, but in his article, Korver admits, "before I knew the full story and before I’d even had the chance to talk to Thabo, I sort of blamed Thabo.”

Fast forward four years later, Korver says, "a few weeks ago something happened at a Jazz home game that brought back many of those old questions."

He's of course referring to the Jazz fan who heckled Russel Westbrook, yelling racial slurs. That fan was later banned for life.

“How it started was a young man and his wife in the stands told me to get down on my knees like I used to. For me that`s just completely disrespectful to me. I think it`s racial. I think it`s just inappropriate,” said Westbrook to reporters following the March 12 incident.

Korver writes, "I may be Thabo's friend, Epke's teammate, or Russ' colleague; I may work with those guys. And I absolutely 100% stand with them. But I look like the other guy. And whether I like it or not, I'm beginning to understand how that means something."

However, he goes beyond acknowledging his white privilege. Korver is committed to doing something, saying “I know that as a white man I have to hold my fellow white men accountable."

He goes on to say, "I believe that what's happening to people of color in this country-- right now in 2019-- is wrong…and I believe it's the responsibility of anyone on the privileged end of those inequalities to help make things right."

You can read the full article here.