Coming off of the biggest night of his career, Kings rookie used his platform to share his thoughts on the civil unrest in the United States.
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was breached and vandalized by pro-Trump supporters. Following the Sacramento Kings’ win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, rookie Tyrese Haliburton shared his thoughts on the atrocity, and how it affected him as a black man living in the United States.
It was so powerful that we decided to let Haliburton’s words have their own space on the site. So, what follows is a transcript of his postgame media availability. We hope you enjoy and, most importantly, listen.
Haliburton: What’s happening right now in our world and what happened today in particular is nothing but a joke with everything that’s going on: the losses of many African American lives, and the plight of people of color. For these human beings to come out like they’re being discriminated against because they lost a fair election, or that they have to wear masks, is a complete joke.
Obviously the president’s not going to say anything that means anything and our president-to-be, Joe Biden, comes out and says ‘America, we’re better than this. This is un-American.’ But, to be honest, I’m 20 years old, and I think this is as American as it gets.
I think today was the biggest, of my lifetime, probably the biggest flex of white power and white privilege there is, and I say that in the most respectful way possible. My mom’s white, my girlfriend’s white. I was taught to treat human beings as human beings first before anything,
It’s a joke. It’s unbelievable. I sat at my phone today for like an hour and a half trying to come up with something that I can say that I thought would make sense; just trying to get my feelings out there and I couldn’t do it because I never really felt like I could put it into a tweet, so I just replied to a couple of things said by people in the past just to point out the irony of what’s being said.
Keep that same energy you clown. https://t.co/nKnl988JAh
— Tyrese Haliburton (@TyHaliburton22) January 6, 2021
I know I didn’t mention this, but yesterday, Jacob Blake, in my home state, nothing happens. — doesn’t get charged for paralyzing a man. I can’t even sit here and tell you that’s a joke because there’s nothing funny about it. It’s just a shame, it’s just another example of this country failing African Americans and people of color and it’s just a disappointment.
As African Americans, I don’t know how others felt, but this has kind of become a trend: that it’s crazy that I see this and other African Americans see this and they’re not surprised, and there’s a problem there. It’s a systematic problem and something that needs to be figured out.
I’m glad that I play in the best league in the world, somewhere I can come out and talk about how I feel and what’s important. I’m just going continue to do that and let my mind be heard. I’m 20 years old, I’m not a politician, I don’t have all the answers to a lot of things but I believe in humans rights and human decency and that’s obviously not being shown right now.