NBA stars respond with gratitude and support for Kyle Korver's essay on white privilege and racism

by Aaron Falk

Kyle Korver had been thinking about it for a while.

Even before a fan was banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena for making degrading comments, the NBA veteran had been considering his role and responsibility as a white man in the NBA and in America in 2019.

This week the Utah Jazz forward shared his thoughts in a Players Tribune essay titled “Privileged”.

“… I know I have to do better. So I’m trying to push myself further,” Korver wrote. “I’m trying to ask myself what I should actually do. How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country? These are the questions that I’ve been asking myself lately.”

The essay struck a chord with many.

Inside the Jazz locker room, Korver’s teammates lauded his honest self-reflection.

“I loved to read it,” Jazz center Rudy Gobert said. “It was really impressive. I’m very happy that he opened up about it. It’s great to open up and it’s great that we can have that conversation.”

Korver’s words also resonated with others around the league and in the sports world at large.

Korver's message extended beyond NBA circles, even drawing praise from Bernice King, the daughter of the late Martin Luther King. Jr.

The Jazz have had myriad discussions about race and racism, especially in recent weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations in the locker room and at [meals] around that topic,” rookie Grayson Allen said. “It’s awesome for [Korver] to come out with that essay and it’s awesome for me as a young player to be in a locker room where so many players think about important topics and talk about them frequently.”

Korver joined his Jazz teammates Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh and Georges Niang for one such conversation with the Players Tribune. You can watch the discussion here:

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