SALT LAKE CITY — Kyle Korver was ruled out of Tuesday’s regular season finale against the Denver Nuggets with right knee soreness but was still spotted at the Utah Jazz’s practice facility during shootaround.
Just 24 hours after releasing a candid essay on white privilege for The Players’ Tribune, the NBA community continued to react to his powerful message where he denounced racism — including his teammates.
Rookie guard Grayson Allen was one of the guys who could certainly relate to the message as a fellow Caucasian, but he admitted the conversation wasn’t much different from those in-house in less formal settings, such as brunch or in the locker room.
“It was great. He was very open, and I think very vulnerable in what he wrote, and I had heard him,” Allen said. “He’s been talking about it for a while, he’s been working on it for a while and we’ve had many conversations in our locker room, at breakfast, around that topic and it’s awesome for him to come out with something like that and it’s awesome for me as a young player to be in the locker room with so many older guys that think about a lot of important topics and important stuff and it’s talked frequently on the road, locker room, everywhere and it’s awesome to be involved and then experience it.”
Korver’s teammates Ekpe Udoh, Georges Niang and Thabo Sefolosha also joined in on the discussion of racism in the NBA during an additional roundtable video for The Players’ Tribune.
In 2015, Sefolosha’s leg was broken by police in New York City during a wrongful arrest where he was later acquitted of all charges and awarded a $1.4 million settlement by the New York Police Department in 2017 so he can relate to the topic. This also comes after the recent offensive comments aimed at Russell Westbrook in Vivint Arena that forced the Jazz to ban two fans for separate incidents.
Allen prepped at Providence School, a private, college preparatory Christian school in Jacksonville, Florida then played at Duke University but says he feels a responsibility to makes others aware of white privilege and racism.
“I think everyone has a responsibility and for me, it’s something that’s so widely talked about now that I think if you have the knowledge of the situation, you have the responsibility to make it known or if you’re in the situation where you see it, that it’s your responsibility to make it known then,” Allen said. “Whether that’s at a game or out in public on the street, it’s wherever it is, you have the responsibility.”
The Jazz organization has also been very supportive of Korver’s essay, even sharing the message on all social media platforms.
“Very supportive response by many,” a source told the Deseret News.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert said he was happy to see the message get delivered from one of his teammates outside of the African-American community, which makes it hit much harder.34 comments on this story
“I loved to read it, it was really impressive,” Gobert said. “I’m really happy that he opened up about it. Sometimes it’s great to be able to be able to open up and it’s great that we have that conversation that people can have that conversation without feeling any guilt, just opening our mind and just being able to communicate is great.”
“It was great having that input from him and having a different perspective on it,” he added. “It’s usually people of color that talk about it so having a white guy that doesn’t experience the same things but has experienced some things as well differently, it’s a different perspective but it’s great.”