World news – US – Clippers coach Doc Rivers denies assertion that sports figures are ‘fanning flames of hatred’

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In respect to social and racial justice, the NBA has spoken loudly, with words and deeds, during their weeks in the bubble — including putting a stop to the action last month after the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the court following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Doc Rivers’ voice has been among those leading the discussion. His impassioned statements on issues related to police abuse and racism in the United States drew praise from his colleagues and others, including former President Barack Obama.

“What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention, viewing this fear,” Rivers said Aug. 25. “All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear — we’re the ones getting killed! We’re the ones getting shot! We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear.

“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It’s really so sad … we got to demand better.”

This week, after two L.A. County deputies were shot multiple times by an unknown gunman near in Compton on Saturday, L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Associated Press that he took issue with sports figures, as well as elected officials and civic leaders, for “fanning the flames of hatred,” and saying they instead ought to emphasize trust in the criminal justice system.

And Tuesday, in an interview on KABC Radio, Villanueva said he wanted to “challenge” Lakers star LeBron James to double the award money being offered for information on the gunman who ambushed the deputies, both of whom are expected to survive.

“I know you care about law enforcement,” Villanuena said, directing his comments toward James. “You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African-American community. And I appreciated that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”

For his part, Rivers disputed the assertion that sports figures’ advocacy is inciting hatred or violence.

“Listen, I don’t think anyone’s fanning flames,” he said Tuesday before the Clippers tipped off against the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series. “I just think we’re drawing attention to things that are happening in our country. Like I said the other night, we don’t want any sheriffs — we don’t want anyone killed, period. So if you just stop there, we can make it a better, safer place for all. That’s what we want.”

I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P

Though Rivers seemed not to appreciate the significance of the wardrobe choice before Game 7, responding to a compliment on his shirt: “Salmon?” But many Clippers fans surely cheered the news that he and his coaching staff would be sporting salmon polos on the sideline Tuesday.

According to the calculations by Caleb Daniels, as of Sept. 13, the Clippers were 3-0 in the bubble when the coaches wear those salmon-colored polos. What’s more, according to Daniels, they’d won those games by a combined 47 points.

“Well, we will be wearing Johnny Cash all-black once again,” said Malone, who’d noted after the Nuggets’ first-round series victory that he and his staff had worn black three consecutive games as they rallied from a 3-1 deficit. “So I have a feeling that our all-black record is better than their salmon record. So put it to the test: It is going to come down to — not the play — it is going to come down to black Johnny Cash versus salmon.”

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Superstitions aren’t uncommon among basketball coaches, Malone said.

“I have worked with coaches who knew the record of the ties they wore. When I was coaching in college, I knew coaches that would keep the record of a certain bus driver and say that guy can never charter our team bus again,” said Malone, whose birthday was Tuesday. “So yes, we are weird group, we will look for any advantage necessary.

“Once that jump ball goes up, it doesn’t matter what we are wearing — but yeah, Johnny Cash lives with the Denver Nuggets so we are rooting for Johnny’s favorite.”

Hey @lockedonclips, I got bored at work and did a deep dive into Clippers stats based on staff polo color, proving once and for all that salmon is the superior polo #ClipperNation https://t.co/2TuPRuSGLYhttps://t.co/qtWBC34oK5

In one corner, Salmon Polos. In the other: Johnny Cash black. (Thx for the vid, @kylegoon.) pic.twitter.com/b6NOZT3CxO

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SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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