Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray kept coming back to one single word: blatant.
In dealing with the emotionally charged protests now flooding the country after the murder of George Floyd, Murray could not ignore how fearlessly the police are treating black and brown people.
“I’m just thinking about all the stories I grew up with my dad,” Murray said Friday. “How clear it is. … The things that the police do, the things that happen, which bothers us in the black community, is that it is so obvious. Obviously, I don’t know how to explain it. The word is perfect. It’s so overt, where if you can’t see it, you’re part of the problem. “
The protests and civil unrest have encouraged Murray. According to him, change can come in the form of education, awareness and involvement.
“Whether it’s your top priority, second priority, even if you don’t have the time, it has to change something,” said Murray. “And you have to be part of that to change.”
At a conference call with local media, the first time he was spoken to publicly since the season was suspended on March 11, Murray was delighted with Thursday’s vote that he was almost certain the season would resume in Orlando , Florida. He replied, “Why not?” when asked about the Nuggets’ chances of winning a title, underlining how dangerous he and Nikola Jokic could be in their pick and roll.
During the break, Jokic, Will Barton, Monte Morris and Vlatko Cancar stayed in Denver, hoping for a possible resumption. But even as he kept fit, taunting his legs in the weight room, and staying in rhythm during individual workouts on the Nuggets’ team, Murray said he was bolstered by the abundance of attention to police brutality.
“It’s usually with the police, when you see, they go through this training, they go through the physicals, they go through the combat training and techniques,” said Murray. “I feel like they can’t wait to use everything they’ve learned, everything they’ve learned through the system, they can’t wait to use that, they can’t wait to use their power over people, about the black community, about people they don’t really think matter.
“That’s why Black Lives is Matter,” he said. “They do things so shameless, they prod you, they prick you, they try to intimidate you, they try to make you do things under duress, under emotion. When people act in a certain way, they use that as an excuse to do something. ‘
After most topics were discussed, including Murray’s latest kitchen recipes, the thoughtful guardian of the Nuggets asked the assembled media members what cases of racism they had endured. What followed was a thoughtful back-and-forth about people’s honest, raw stories. After several shared their stories, Murray shared his.
He told the story of how he and his father drove to Orangeville Prep, his Ontario prep school. A police car had cut them off and when they passed the car they were stopped at the speed limit.
“What are the odds?” Murray said sarcastically. “We’re sitting there like,” If we pass him, this is going to happen. Just look. I’m like, “OK.” We pass him, guess what happens. “
Tailgating, they were told.
Murray told another story in which he and his father were profiled walking home at night after practicing basketball. Two officers randomly asked to search them. They were told that they “met the description.”
“My father said,” Were they black? Did she say what they were? Younger Murray said. “You could see them hesitating where they weren’t prepared for that question, you know?”
Murray said that the basketball break imposed by the coronavirus pandemic had made him pause to think and consider his own priorities.
“When I see the community come together like this, it really changes a mental change in your mind that basketball isn’t the only thing that matters in the world.”