Wizards

Chris Webber gives heartfelt message in support for NBA players

Wizards
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All three NBA games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the court for their Game 5 matchup versus the Magic to protest social injustice in America following the shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Despite the games being postponed, Inside the NBA, Turner Sports' pregame show, still went on as scheduled. During the show, host Ernie Johnson interviewed Chris Webber, and the former Wizards forward was quite emotional when discussing current racial inequality and social injustices still prevalent in American society.

"If not now, when? If not during a pandemic and countless lives being lost, if not now, when?" Webber asked. "That’s all I just want to hear."

Webber went into further detail, encouraging young people to continue to fight for social change, even if that change won't be imminent.

"The rest of the night when everybody is pontificating and thinking and soapboxing, all of that, we know nothing is going to change. We get it," Webber said. "Martin Luther King got shot and risked his life. And Medgar Evers. We’ve seen this in all of our heroes constantly taken down. We understand that it’s not going to end.

"But that does not mean, young men, that you don’t do anything," he continued. "Don’t listen to these people telling you don’t do anything because it’s not going to end right away. You are starting something for the next generation and the next generation to take over."

 

After the games were postponed Wednesday, many immediately wondered what comes next. Will games resume Thursday? Will players and/or teams leave the bubble?

Webber touched on the topic, saying he doesn't know what comes next but is proud of the players for taking a stand.

"I keep hearing the question ‘what’s next, what’s next?’ Well, you’ve got to plan what’s next," Webber said. "You have to figure out what’s next. I’m very proud of the players. I don’t know the next steps. Don’t really care what the next steps are because the first steps are to garner attention and they have everybody’s attention around the world right now. Their leadership and others will get together and decide the next steps."

The entire Inside the NBA show was full of raw emotion. At the beginning of the program, analyst Kenny Smith walked off the set in solidarity with NBA players.

"As a Black man and as a former player, I think its best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight," Smith said.

Throughout his three-plus minute speech, Webber made it clear, "if not now, then when?"

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