Bradley Beal Debates Protests, Denies Being in NBA Stops Him Facing Prejudice

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) stands on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal responded to suggestions he's lost touch with the plight of black Americans because he's made it to the NBA.

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

It’s funny how people think: I’ve been rich my whole life. I forgot where I came from. I don’t deal with what they do! I’m privileged. I don’t get racially profiled I don’t get stopped for nothing. I lost touch of what’s going on. All because I made it to the league

Beal's comments came amid an extended conversation on his Twitter feed about the right approach to correcting racial inequality in America. The conversation started when Beal posted, "I just do not understand why we loot from our own!"

The 26-year-old St. Louis native's tweet came after four days of unrest in Minnesota and elsewhere following the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on Monday. Floyd was handcuffed after police were called regarding an alleged forgery and held facedown on the ground by at least one officer driving his knee into Floyd's neck.

Video of the arrest was made public and showed four officers in total present at the scene while Floyd repeatedly told them he was unable to breathe. All four officers have been fired. Derek Chauvin, the officer first shown with his knee on Floyd's neck, was arrested Friday to face charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, per CNN.

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

I feel you, those feelings of pains. Years of suffering can never be replaced. But we have to ACT now, but in a different matter. We’ve been looting and rioting for years and no change. We gotta do something else! https://t.co/oMbJBAxIvi

"And actually I'm figuring out ways to hold panels with DMV Police so we can figure out how we can police our neighborhoods better," Beal wrote when questioned over his contributions to improving racial equality. "How we can help them help us, because something need to happen!"

The University of Florida product is one of numerous athletes who've spoken about the need for change since Floyd's death.

"The world will never grow until we are comfortable having the uncomfortable talks and taking action upon them!!!!" Beal wrote. "Racism, Discrimination, Gangs, Sexism, Police Brutality, Guns, Drugs, Systematic Injustice, etc... all social issues we need to FIX!!!!"

Beal is an eight-year NBA veteran who's spent his entire career with the Wizards since being selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.