Orlando Magic of America star, Al-Farouq Aminu has added another angle to stories rolling round the restart of action in USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA) league, as he says it should be used as another opportunity to father highlight the war against racism, megasportsarena.com reports.
Even as players from all the competing clubs and match officials took to their knees from the very first match back on Wednesday, following resumption of the NBA, after it was halted on 11 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Aminu stressed that more action is needed to press home the message against racism.
Recent months have seen ‘Black Lives Matter’ return to prominence in the United States and many other countries of the world, following the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd in Minnesota, after a white police officer knelt on his neck, and Aminu has added his voice in support of the campaign.
Like other sports around the world, the NBA is also lending support in the battle against racism, but Aminu, who was born in the USA but now plays internationally for Nigeria and was part of D’Tigers’ squad that won the 2015 African Basketball Championship, feels everyone in the American elite league needs to make a bigger statement.
While referring to the stance of players in 2014 following the death or Eric Garner at the hands of police in New York, the 29-year-old star added that it is not enough to be just very vocal about matters of racism but says ‘Black Lives Matter’ should also resonate all across Africa.
Aminu told BBC Sport Africa: “I’ve heard some of those same sentiments and something that I would encourage them to understand is that Nigeria was colonized as well. And those same type of rules and tactics are in systematic racism.
“Racism was implied for Africa as well and it’s done in different ways. We have already taken action, as we’ve had ‘I can’t breathe’ shirts. I think what a lot of people forget is that we had a black president, we had a black Attorney General and we had let’s say many of the best basketball players in the world are black.
“All those different things happened after the Black Lives first happened and the movement first started. So, I don’t believe that these gestures are 100% the remedy, obviously it is nice to bring awareness to different things like that but after a while you have to get the job done.
“I think that that’s what I’ve been emphasizing to the players, this time is on. I’m not really a one to protest that way. We have to make sure that the consequences for doing these egregious acts are very high so that people don’t even think it’s something that they could maybe get away with or even want to consider doing.”