STATEMENT FROM ABA CEO JOE NEWMAN RE THE RIOTS
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today released a statement relating to this past weekend’s riot following the death of George Floyd.
“This weekend saw the best of America. And the worst of America. At a time when we should have been celebrating the SpaceX/NASA landing on the space station, an incredible achievement of private enterprise and government plus the re-opening of our ecomony as we move towards recovery from Covid-19 signs of a bright future – instead we watched in awe the violent protests in the aftermaths of the senseless murder of George Floyd. I know of no sane, rational person who would not condemn what happened to George Floyd and those that committed this horrible crime should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And yes, it is one of many instances of police brutality that have occurred often across our country. Peaceful protests against injustices are part of what makes our country great and people have a right and a responsibility to protest wrongs and to bring about social change.
But it does not condone for one second the burning of government buildings, businesses, churches, police cars or looting and rioting and damaging cities, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police and the National Guard. It does not condone thousands of people ignoring social distancing and not wearing face masks and jeoparding thousands of people with the unnecessary spread of Covid-19 and adding to one of the most serious health problems (and economic problems) of our lifetime. Over the weekend, there were millions and millions of dollars in damage that will need to be paid for. Money that should be used for health care, the homeless, education, jobs, infrastructure, securing, Covid-19 relief programs and many other vital programs.
Labeling our law enforcement officers with “one brush” as racist because of the actions of a few is shameful and unfair. Just supposing those thousands of cops and others had “thrown up their hands” and gone home over the weekend instead of risking their lives to protect people and property. Cities like NYC, LA, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis etc would have been burned to the ground, looted and destroyed. The idea of 60 Secret Service members were injured as were several hundred brave police officers around the country is repulsive and every American should feel that way. If allowed unchecked, last night the rioters would have burned down the White House. And after that, they would have gone into the suburbs and hit shopping centers and then homes and private cities – in DC and other cities. That’s what they tried to do in Indianapolis after a downtown curfew was put in place. Thanks to those who stood strong and protected us from these ugly rioters.
Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, LeBron James, Tony Dungy, Beyonce, Daymon Johns, Steve Harvey, Lester Holt, Denzel Washington, Cam Newton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Tiger Woods – and the ABA’s Marsha Blount, Joyce Patterson, Ron Jenkins, Al Smith, Charlie McCants, Ace Pippens and on and on an on, including Mayors, Senators, Representatives, Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs..what other country in the entire world provides such unlimited opportunity for people of all races and colors than America. Yes, there is discrimination and yes it should be eliminated. There is no room for social injustice, economic injustice, bigotry in our society. But the way to improve things is not what happened over this weekend and what will continue to happen until condoning this type of unlawful behavior is stopped. The worst of America was not the murder of George Floyd. The worst of America was the aftermath. Another great thing about America is the right to express your opinion without fear of retribution. Try that in Russia, Iran, China, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria. Rest in peace George.”