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A Texas congressman put the National Basketball Association on the spot Wednesday during a House floor speech in which he read off the names of police officers killed in the line of duty this year.
According to video of the speech posted online, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) featured an NBA-style jersey next to him with “43” on it to indicate the number of officers killed so far in 2020.
“Where is the NBA?” Roy asked after reading off the names. “Where are the names I just read of the 43 police officers who have died in the line of duty this year?
“I want to know that. I want to know where those names are,” he said, an apparent reference to the league’s Black Lives Matter-linked ‘social justice’ outreach this year in which players wear the names of mostly black people who were killed by police.
“My second question is, where is the Speaker?” Roy asked, in reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Where is this body?” he continued. “Why aren’t we on the floor voting on a resolution honoring these fallen 43?
“Why aren’t we standing up for law and order? Why aren’t we standing up for security in our streets? Why are we, instead, turning over this country to mob rule?” Roy said.
“These names matter too,” he said, jabbing a finger into the podium for emphasis.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 16, 2020
The NBA was roundly criticized when it jumpstarted its COVID-19-truncated season for the league’s decision to employ BLM messaging and to allow players to display the names of those shot during police encounters.
The league published a list of 29 pre-approved sayings and slogans that players were allowed to put on their uniforms. Among them: Black Lives Matter; Say Her Name; I Can’t Breathe; Vote; Justice; and Equality.
“After the first four nights, a player can simply go back to their last name. If they choose to continue showing a social message, their name would go below the number,” ESPN reported. “The NBA and NBPA announced an agreement on June 24 to continue to discuss fighting systemic racism and to make it one of the focuses of the restart.”
Prior to that, however, some NBA players reportedly discussed not relaunching the season because they did not want to distract from the George Floyd-inspired protests and rioting.
“I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls–t. Something smells a little fishy,” Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets reportedly said.
He added: “I’m willing to give up everything I have” in the pursuit of reforms.
ESPN reported that the conference call featured “several players suggesting they’d be willing to sit out the season — and numerous more discussing social issues, league economics and, ultimately, a sense that they needed to be united in a decision.”
“Once we start playing basketball again, the news will turn from systemic racism to who did what in the game last night,” another conference participant said. “It’s a crucial time for us to be able to play and blend that and impact what’s happening in our communities.
“We are asking ourselves, ‘Where and how can we make the biggest impact?’ Mental health is part of the discussion too, and how we handle all of that in a bubble,” the participant added.
Clay Travis, a Fox Sports Radio host, noted after the league’s relaunch that ratings were way down, which elicited a response from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who excused the drop as being due mostly to coverage related to Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
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