Blake, a Black man, was left paralyzed after a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shot him seven times in the back. The incident was caught on video and shared widely on social media. To date, the cop has not been charged.
In response, the players walked out rather than play post-season games and spent the time off the court calling for change and taking action, including persuading NBA ownership to convert arenas into voting sites for the coming presidential election.
But Kushner dismissed those efforts. Or, as Oliver put it, “this is what fell out of his mouth”:
“I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,” Kushner said on CNBC.
Kushner also said the athletes “put a lot of slogans out” rather than take “actual action.”
Oliver wasn’t having it.
“First, get fucked, Jared, you ‘Welcome to Marwen’ reject,” he declared, referring to a film centered around a village of doll-people.
“They are not taking a night off from work,” Oliver added. “The emotional toll of being Black in America, combined with the pressure to perform at an elite level during a global pandemic, is, I’m guessing, pretty taxing. So by not playing, they’re not exactly taking a spa day.”
Then, Oliver mused about who “America’s most laminated prince” thought should be allowed to protest, if not NBA players.
“We’ve seen time and time again that wealth and fame absolutely do not protect you as a Black athlete,” Oliver said, then pointed to multiple high-profile examples, such as Bucks guard Sterling Brown.
See Oliver’s full segment, which includes his response to last week’s Republican National Convention, below:
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