Clippers’ Paul George devotes entire press conference to call for justice for Breonna Taylor

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Los Angeles Clippers star hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than four months. Still, Paul George had no interest in talking about the Clippers’ 99-90 win over the Orlando Magic in a scrimmage Wednesday at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Nor did he care to detail how his surgically-repaired shoulders have healed during the halted season.

Instead, George devoted his post-game press conference entirely to decrying the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, two unarmed Black people that were killed by law enforcement.

“There are so many others that have been brutally murdered by the hands of police,” George said. “That’s all I got. That’s my message for everyone. That will continue to be my answer.”

And it will continue to be the answer of other NBA players, too. Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso and center Dwight Howard, Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant and Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown have recently redirected basketball-related questions toward their frustration that none of the officers have been charged or convicted with a crime, including Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. The only course of action involved the Louisville Metro Police Department firing Hankison in late June.

“Her murderers are still free, so nothing was done yet,” George said. “We’re going to continue to keep this fight going to use our platform to stand up for those that can’t stand anymore.”

It is not immediately clear how NBA teams will protest once the season starts. The NBA is not playing the national anthem in its scrimmages, but it will do so when the season resumes on July 30. The league’s players either plan to adopt social justice messages on their jersey, or will keep their last names. In recent days, though, George said players have communicated together about the need to talk about Taylor’s killing specifically.

“Keeping the message on Breonna Taylor is really important,” Clippers forward Joakim Noah said. “Keeping the message on what really matters and making sure that message isn’t drowned through basketball.”

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