Minnesota Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell took the lead in a different way following a 96-88 win against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
Russell turned a question about his feelings toward the riots at the U.S. Capitol into a discussion with reporters to hear what they thought of it instead.
“I’m not in any rush right now,” Russell said. “I think it’s the perfect time to do this ... I’d love to hear y’all’s opinion on [the riot] and we can play tennis with that.”
Russell asks reporters their thoughts on Capitol riots
Russell, 24, wrote on Twitter during the attack on the Capitol, “They let that s--- happen. Our government really LET THAT S--- HAPPEN!!!!”
At the end of his media availability, he asked the reporters what they thought of the attack since “we don’t get to hear you guys’ opinion.”
The conversation went around the Zoom room for about 10 minutes.
The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, who asked the question, noted the comparison between how Black Lives Matter protesters were treated by police this summer during protests and how the pro-President Trump rioters were treated by police. He called it heartbreaking and “just brings a rage about you to see it that way.”
Another reporter said he felt embarrassed as a white person and embarrassed for the country. Another, who said he studied history and journalism in college, said he was disappointed that people seem to have forgotten history or didn’t learn history growing up. He was also disappointed in the lack of acceptance of fact.
Russell listened to each person’s feelings, adding “respect that” to the end of each before moving on to ask the next reporter.
Russell gives his opinion on Capitol riots
Reporters have been asking NBA players for their thoughts on the Capitol riots. Some players were active on social media about it. All of them devoted the resumption of the 2019-20 season at the Disney World bubble to fighting for social justice, specifically working with Black Lives Matter.
Russell did answer the question after hearing from reporters, adding he could go on for “hours, for however long” about it but would keep it short.
“We let that happen as a country, a higher power, whatever you want to say, we let that happen,” Russell said. “It brought eyes to the unfairness of what we're living in this country. It just brought more eyes to it. I will say that with all this going on, it’s triggered a lot of attention toward just this topic in general.
“It's allowing us to sit back and think about how we’re going to respond to this as a nation, one, as an individual, as a teacher. Anything you do, your voice is going to matter. A lot of young kids nowadays, they probably won’t see this and they probably won’t understand what's going on, but it is a revolution. It is a change, it is something that, I feel like it probably can only go up from here.
“Being able to recognize what’s right, what’s wrong in these situations and see how people are taking advantage of the wrong thing to do. it’s just simple: there’s right and there’s wrong. Why be wrong when everybody’s watching? Why say the wrong thing when everybody’s listening?”
Russell thanked the reporters for bringing attention to the topic. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James have been outspoken about the attack.
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