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Clippers forward Marcus Morris: ‘We shouldn’t have played’

Clippers forward Marcus Morris vs. Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - January 6: Marcus Morris Sr. #8 of the LA Clippers dribbles the ball during the game against the Golden State Warriors on January 6, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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In the wake of no charges being filed in the police shooting of Jacob Blake and pro-Donald Trump rioters storming the U.S. Capitol, NBA players and coaches spoke out, released statements and demonstrated. Clippers and Warriors players kneeled during the national anthem. But games went on as scheduled.

Clippers forward Marcus Morris thinks that was a mistake.


I think it happened so fast that it was one of those things where we just made a decision as a whole just to take a knee. But my personal opinion, that wasn’t enough. I don’t think we should have even played. But we did, and we came together, and we thought taking a knee was appropriate.
That wasn’t brought up. I think guys were already in the mode of playing. But if it was my decision, I wouldn’t have.
Stuff is just bigger than basketball. This is secondary, even third. What’s going on in this country, just out of respect, I thought we shouldn’t have played.
Just being an African-American, I know that, quite frankly, if that was people of color, then that would’ve played out a lot differently. And it’s just unfortunate, man. It’s just unfortunate the state that we’re in in this country. But all we can do is pray, and hopefully the right things come about.

If Morris didn’t want to play, he didn’t have to. But obviously, him alone sitting out wouldn’t have halted the game. He clearly prioritized making a shared decision with his teammates.

For better or worse, NBA players have emphasized unity in their social-justice initiatives. There’s power in collective action. But this tactic has also muzzled the NBA’s most-fervent players.

Hopefully, Morris felt comfortable expressing his views. They were worth considering before the game.

I’m not sure how much striking would’ve accomplished in this situation. But it’s completely understandable how someone couldn’t focus on basketball on basketball last night. That alone might have been worthy reason not to play.

That said, it’s much easier for someone (even an NBA player like Morris) to tell players to strike than for them to actually do it.