Amidst these turbulent times between citizens and law enforcement, many athletes have taken a knee during sporting events in protest against African-American violence while the United States’ National Anthem plays. By now, the whole country and parts of the world have witnessed San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the side-line in an NFL setting. Whether you agree with these public displays or not, they certainly have proliferated in recent days and weeks.
In the lyrics of a song released last week, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert stated that he intended to kneel in a similar fashion during the national anthem. However, the ongoing violence has instilled a fear among African Americans everywhere, and that’s something Shumpert says kneeling is no longer enough to counter.
The birth of Shumpert’s daughter, Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr, seems to have had quite an impact on his train of thought – Most new parents can relate to that.
Now, Shumpert is pledging to donate time and money towards a foundation striding to improve the struggle between the badge and the citizen each time he tallies a steal on the court.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday morning, Shumpert made the following statement:
Take a good look at my daughter Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr. The moment she was born was the day I saw the world a lot different. All day I wonder how can I raise her the right way and teach her the right lessons. I can't explain to her what's going on these days between the badge and the people. The badge was made to protect us, not scare us. #stealthefear #steal fear #weprayforpeace For each steal I’m going to donate money and time towards a foundation(s) striding to improve the struggle between the badge and the citizen. I challenge all sponsors and athletes to match these proceeds to contribute to the cause helping families affected by all the killings leaving families and communities traumatized. As big as an awareness Kap has raised by taking a knee and the bravery it took for so many to follow I also understand those that fought for that flag have nothing to do with whats going on in our society today and I no longer believe taking a knee is the answer. This news makes me sick and I am challenging myself to make a difference! #stealthefear #steal fear #weprayforpeace
Shumpert then sent a Tweet at Kaepernick, saying, “Call my phone. Let’s make something happen!”
— Iman Shumpert I (@imanshumpert) September 21, 2016
Kaepernick recently pledged $1 million to organizations which address social problems, including race relations.
More violence is certainly not the answer. As Shumpert wrote, “The badge was made to protect us, not scare us.” Let’s keep that in mind as we move towards a possible resolution.