Malcolm Brogdon Discusses Grandfather Joining Martin Luther King Jr. at Protest

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 31, 2020

Indiana Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 119-100. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon referenced his grandfather marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s in comments he made to protesters in Atlanta on Saturday:

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Malcolm Brogdon spoke during a protest in Atlanta today "I got a grandfather that marched next to Dr. King in the '60s, and he was amazing. He would be proud to see us all here." https://t.co/XFvHXrPqYc

"This is a moment. We have leverage right now. We have a moment in time. People are going to look back, our kids are going to look back at this and say, 'You were a part of that.'

"I've got a grandfather that marched next to Dr. Martin Luther King in the '60s, and he was amazing. He would be proud to see us all here. We've got to keep pushing forward."

Brogdon was among a few NBA players who took to the streets in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody Monday.

In addition to Brogdon, NBA free-agent guard JR Smith and New Orleans Pelicans guard Jordan Clarkson protested in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and ex-NBA players Stephen Jackson and Royce White protested earlier this week.

As reported by Ray Sanchez, Joe Sutton and Artemis Moshtaghian of CNN.com, an officer pressed his knee into the back of Floyd's neck during an arrest despite him being unarmed and prone on the ground. Floyd told the officers that he could not breathe and that his body hurt. He died at a nearby hospital later that day.

Protests have spread across the United States in response to Floyd's death, recent deaths of unarmed black people (e.g., Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor) and racial inequality in the United States.

"I've got brothers, I've got sisters, I've got friends, that are in the streets, that are out here that haven't made it to this level, that are experiencing that they're getting pulled over, just discrimination, day after day, dealing with the same bulls--t," Brogdon said. "And this is systematic."

Brogdon, who was born in Atlanta, grew up in Georgia. He's in his fourth NBA season and first with the Pacers following three years with the Milwaukee Bucks.