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Lakers’ Danny Green says protesting is ‘only way to be heard’

Lakers guard Danny Green tries to pull down a rebound against Mavericks forward Dwight Powell during a game on Dec. 1, 2019.
Lakers guard Danny Green battles Mavericks forward Dwight Powell for a rebound.
(Getty Images)

Danny Green was advised to take security with him if he was planning to attend a protest in L.A. following the death of George Floyd. He wasn’t worried, though.

“I’m not uncomfortable out there,” Green said. “I’m used to being with the people.”

So on June 3 a group of friends that included his girlfriend Blair Bashen, his brother Devonte Green, his podcast partner Harrison Sanford and Lakers coaching associate Jamal Boykin joined the Lakers guard.

They spent an hour near City Hall where helicopters circled overhead and groups had been gathering for days to protest police brutality and racism in the wake of Floyd’s death. Floyd was a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest on suspicion of forgery.

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“People were peacefully protesting, it was beautiful, it was cool,” Green said during an Instagram Live appearance with the Grio. “The reason why they’re protesting is not cool. But to see so many people, different races, different faces uniting together peacefully and protesting for a cause was beautiful to see. … I wasn’t there to take photo ops or footage for content. Some people took some pictures recognized me. But not many people. I also saw [actor] Don Cheadle was out there.”

It was one of two protests in which the NBA veteran partook. He also joined a bicycle ride from Hollywood to Venice with the same goal.

Green was asked what he sees as the impact of protesting.

“It seems as if it’s the only way to be heard,” Green said. “… Things don’t happen unless we take action. Unfortunately we hate to see, we don’t want it to happen, to have our communities or cities burned down but it seems it’s the only way we can get our point across or get our voices to be heard. But more importantly is to get out there to show unity, to show, peacefully if you can, your presence is more of a sign than anything of showing we mean business.

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“Some progress is happening but hopefully more progress will happen. The government, the system, even people in local cities need to get out and vote, more people to vote. Hopefully we get the change we’re looking for.”

Green’s comments came the day after LeBron James revealed that he was helping to form a voting rights organization led by athletes and entertainers designed to support Black voters and fight voter suppression. When asked by the host about his view on voting, Green admitted that although he did vote, he often saw the political process as one in which he had little control.

“Seeing how disappointing and how much it affects so many people close to home — it may not affect me directly, but my friends and family, my close ones, their friends and family back home, some of my closest friends’ people,” Green said. “We need to have the right people. It’s very important that we have those right people in those positions. It starts with voting.”


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