While many in the NBA have spoken out about racial injustice - and eloquently so - in recent months, then-Clippers head coach Doc Rivers' words carried extra weight on Aug. 24 when he got choked up while discussing the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, WI. The video of his comments went viral and apparently far enough to inspire a candidate running for President of the United States.
Speaking in Gettysburg, PA on Tuesday, Joe Biden quoted Rivers when talking about social justice and the change he would like to enact as president. It was clear what Rivers said had moved him.
"Doc Rivers, the basketball coach, choking back tears when he said, 'We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We've been hung. It's amazing how we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,'" Biden recalled.
"I think about that. I think about what it takes for a Black person to love America. That is a deep love for this country that has for far too long never been recognized."
Rivers left the Clippers and has since landed with the Sixers, who play about two-and-a-half hours east of where Biden was speaking. Rivers was introduced as Philly's new coach the day before.
The fact Biden invoked Rivers could be used as an example of how the NBA's efforts to raise awareness for racial injustice have worked, at least when compared to the initial concerns that the restart bubble could distract from current events in a negative way. In this case, Rivers used the platform of a postgame press conference to shed light on matters unrelated to basketball, and what he said caught the attention of a man who could behold the highest office in the land if he wins his race next month.
Perhaps if Biden wins Rivers can follow up to make sure the changes he's advocating for are seen through.