Calgary`s Black community is calling for more candid — and deeper — conversations around anti-Black racism in the midst of professional sports games being cancelled.
Eddie Richardson, president of Calgary youth sports group Genesis Basketball, is praising the decision by the players to boycott NBA games.
Richardson said the cancelled games would allow for more time for deeper dialogue about the issue and allow parents to have that conversation with their children.
“This is very important to just continue to talk and open the dialogue and use this time where the games are paused.
“Now that racism is being seen more and more on social media, through videos through pictures, talk about it, deal with it, have conversations with our kids in the house. Teach and listen,” he said.
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Richardson said the move was something that needed to happen.
“These players are… especially in the NBA, predominantly Black athletes so they’re Black first before they’re athletes. So it’s very important that people understand that this is real.
“This is in our community across North America.”
“One of the things we say is good leaders have hard conversations and it’s important for us as coaches and mentors to talk to these kids and say, ‘Listen, hey, we’re here to support you. We’re here to give you some advice.’”
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The conversation about racism and systemic racism has been reignited in recent days in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Wisconsin man who was shot by police seven times during an arrest Sunday.
The NHL also announced it was cancelling all games Thursday, along with some MLB match-ups.
Black Live Matter president Adora Nwofor also agreed with the decision but thinks the league and players should go beyond that.
“It’s definitely the right decision… Black Lives Matter YYC decided that we want to see all the games boycotted and postponed until the systems that are racist, which includes their athletic teams, stop being racist.
“We’re done with oppression in general,” Nwofor said.
The organization is planning a rally for Saturday to give marginalized groups a stronger voice. It is also calling for the defunding of police.
“Unfortunately, right now we’re still dying because we’re Black, we’re trans or we’re disabled or we’re women,” Nwofor said. “And there should be no reason for us to die except for if we’re old [and] it’s a natural occurrence.
“Work still needs to be done.”
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