WATCH: Antonio Daniels' powerful response to racial injustice

Chris Lingebach
June 01, 2020 - 11:02 am

Former NBA star Antonio Daniels issued a powerful response to the racial injustice in America that led to an uprising of protests throughout the country over the weekend.

George Floyd is just the latest victim, but his death last week in Minneapolis – which was captured on camera as the arresting officer denied Floyd's requests to remove his knee from Floyd's neck, despite repeated pleas from Floyd, saying "I can't breathe" – sparked a powder keg of emotions that had been building up across the country for far longer.

"I'm angry that… this is AMERICA," Daniels wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday. "I'm angry when people that don't look like me become silent. I'm angry that we choose to avoid uncomfortable conversations. I'm angry that me and my wife MUST eventually have "the talk" with our two-year-old son."

"I'm angry that my wife cries when she prays for me, our son and our family and friends because her heart hurts," he wrote. "I'm angry because these thoughts keep me up at night. I'm angry how easily injustice is excused. I'm angry that some people don't care if it doesn't impact them. I'm angry that our reality is seen as a 'race card.'

"I'm angry that asking people to practice empathy is viewed as stoking the fires of racism. I'm angry that my family worries about my safety every time I leave the house. I'm angry that our country is this divided. Lord please forgive me for my heated thoughts. I will not allow this anger to consume me. Father be my light in ALL truth and understanding, even when the truth is lost and I don't understand."

Daniels, the former 12-year NBA pro, expounded on those thoughts in a Monday morning appearance on The Sports Junkies.

"Our country right now is not healthy. It's broken," Daniels said on 106.7 The Fan. "And in the midst of a broken country, we are lacking leadership when it's needed most. And I know for myself and many people that I talk to, and many people that look like me, right now we're not okay. In this world that we're living in now, we are not okay."

"And it's not just the George Floyd situation," he said. "It's Philando Castile (Minnesota, 2016); it's Eric Garner (New York, 2014); Breonna Taylor (Louisville, March); it's Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia, February). It's the fact that this continues to happen over and over again."

"And what truly bothers me," Daniels continued, "it's not just the fact that it continues to happen over and over again; it's the lack of empathy, the lack of people wanting to see our reality. Because when we speak on our reality and what it looks like from our eyes, it's called 'race baiting' or it's called 'playing the race card.'

"And right now, America does not want to have uncomfortable situations. That's why people would rather talk about the looting than they would about the actual problem. People would rather talk about COVID-19 because it addresses everyone. COVID-19, that touched everyone, and it's a big deal and it's a big issue."

"But when we talk about racism," he said, "we can dodge the subject, or we can run and we can duck and put our head in the sand and not discuss it."