Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon appeared on ESPN's First Take Monday morning and spoke about the ongoing protests following the death of unarmed civilian George Floyd, who died after since-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while arresting him.
He told Stephen A. Smith that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was contributing to the response in cities around the country:
"Stephen A., I think it's a mix of everything you mentioned, and on top of this, we are going through a pandemic. I think that some people are forgetting, these are people that have had checks delayed or cancelled for two months now, and people are desperate. The pandemic, COVID, it targets the black community. We're the people that don't have access to healthcare. We're the people that don't have the top-level jobs that are getting cut and replaced. People have to understand the desperate-ness our community is in, how hopeless we feel, and then to see another black man murdered in the streets, for no reason, over a fraudulent 20 dollar bill, you really look at the details of it. It's inexcusable, it happens so much, and my fear is that we as a people will become numb to it. It's important for us to stay outraged. It's important for us to continue to be angry, continue to protest, continue to shed light and highlight what's going on in this country and the broken system that we're living in."
Chauvin and the three other officers at the scene—Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane—were all fired, though only Chauvin has been charged with any crimes (third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter).
Brogdon, 27, joined Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and G League player Justin Anderson at the protest in Atlanta on Sunday.
Malcolm Brogdon, Lil Yachty and Justin Anderson joined Jaylen Brown in Atlanta to protest. Brogdon: "I got a grandfather who marched next to Dr. King in the 60's and he was amazing. He would be proud to see us all here. We have to keep pushing forward." (via @FCHWPO) https://t.co/E4yXxWjGGr
Various other members of the NBA community joined protests or used their social media platforms to express messages of support for protestors and speak out against police brutality against the African American community.
The Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem spoke in Miami, while former player Stephen Jackson—a friend of Floyd—joined Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie in Minnesota. Dallas Mavericks co-owner Mark Cuban joined the protest in Dallas alongside several Mavericks players (Justin Jackson, Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson).