George Floyd death: Boston Celtics' Vincent Poirier joins US protests with NBA teammates Marcus Smart, Enes Kanter
Boston Celtics' Vincent Poirier says he took part in a protest with NBA teammates Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter in Boston on Sunday over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.
Paris: Boston Celtics center Vincent Poirier says he took part in a protest with NBA teammates Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter in Boston on Sunday over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.
“Even as someone who is white, this must concern me,” Poirier told French sports daily L’Equipe on Tuesday.
“It touches me since I have black teammates, black friends, my wife is of mixed race.
“I can walk the streets freely and I want it to be the case for everyone. It bothers me that it’s not the case,” the Frenchman added.
Video footage showed a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, 46, for nearly nine minutes before he died on 25 May, triggering outrage and protests across the United States.
Poirier added that there had been similar issues in France, highlighting the case of 24-year-old black man Adama Traore, who died in 2016 while being driven to a police station following his arrest over an altercation.
The circumstances of Traore’s death are still under investigation by justice authorities.
Poirier, who signed for the Celtics in 2019, said he wanted to use his standing in the sports world to bring attention to such issues.
“At the time of Adama Traore, I did not have this recognition but now that I have it, I try to use it. The fact that I play for Celtics has an extra impact,” he said.
After receiving their rings, raising a banner and watching a highlight video of their first NBA championship since 1971, the Bucks defeated the team that nearly eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs.
It started in 1946 with 11 teams and 160 players. The shot clock was nearly a decade away, the 3-point line was a couple generations away. Buildings were smaller. So were the players. The NBA, 75 years ago, was different in almost every imaginable way.
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