Rudy Gay can’t escape the discussion of social injustice in America when he visits his hometown, Baltimore.
There in April 2015, the death of Freddie Gray led to protests and riots in the African American community.
After being arrested, Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and fell into a coma. Charges were filed against six officers; three were acquitted, and prosecutors dropped all charges against the other three.
“It is (tough) to be in the community that’s actually affected,” Gay said. “No matter what, I’m not here to be an activist, but to show support for the people who are bringing light to the situation.”
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We’re all aware of the situation going on right now. And one thing we can do with these issues is just unite everybody.
Before Tuesday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings showed their support for social change by interlocking arms during the national anthem.
“It’s something Cuz (DeMarcus Cousins) came to us with and we supported it, obviously,” Gay said. “It’s something that affects us personally. Whether it’s family members, kids, everybody has somebody who can be affected by it. I think it’s a way we show our unity and our support.”
Several NBA teams have done the same thing during the preseason, opting to express solidarity rather than going the route established by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has kneeled during the anthem.
“It’s a sign of unity, that’s the biggest thing,” Cousins said. “That’s something that needs to be preached right now. We’re all aware of the situation going on right now. And one thing we can do with these issues is just unite everybody.”
Cousins said Tuesday’s display was not a one-time action.
“It’s something we’ll continue to do and try to figure out other things to do as well,” Cousins said.
It is (tough) to be in the community that’s actually affected. No matter what, I’m not here to be an activist, but to show support for the people who are bringing light to the situation.
Rudy Gay, Kings forward
Lineup questions – Kings coach Dave Joerger said he hadn’t decided who will start Thursday’s preseason game against the Golden State Warriors in San Jose. He joked he doesn’t decide until “12 seconds” before tipoff.
Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Gay, Cousins and Kosta Koufos started Tuesday.
Campus visit –The Kings stayed in Southern California overnight and practiced at UC Irvine on Wednesday before leaving for San Jose.