One sticking point for a number of basketball players has been using the league’s restart in Orlando as an opportunity to keep the fight against police brutality and systemic inequality in the spotlight. For a number of players, this means doing things like putting a word or phrase across the backs of their uniforms that is related to the current moment in America.
For Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant, he sees this as a chance to keep one issue in particular in the spotlight. Grant spoke to the media on Wednesday, and instead of diving into the minutiae of what life is like in the bubble, decided to focus on the fact that the police officers that killed Breonna Taylor have not been brought to justice.
“I think it’s great to be here with my teammates,” Grant told the Denver Post. “It’s great to be back playing basketball. For me personally, and I think a lot of the players, I think it’s imperative that we focus on what’s really important in the world. One thing, for me, is Breonna Taylor’s killers still are roaming around free. I think I just want to focus on that with these interviews.”
Grant echoed this sentiment when asked about Nikola Jokic joining the Nuggets in the bubble. Jokic tested positive for COVID-19 in Serbia, delaying his arrival in Orlando, but he has since made it down to Disney. When asked about this, Grant said, “Like I said, it’s great to have my teammates here, it’s great to be here playing basketball, but at the same time, I want to keep the focus on what’s really important. Breonna Taylor’s murderers still are roaming around free.”
Grant joined the Nuggets last offseason as has been a productive member of the team’s frontcourt, averaging 11.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game, largely in a role off the bench. On March 13, 2020, Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who lived in Louisville, was shot by three plainclothes police officers who were executing a no-knock warrant as she was asleep with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, in an apartment that was incorrectly targeted in a potential drug bust. While all three officers were placed on administrative leave — one has since been fired — and laws have been introduced and passed in some places to outlaw no-knock warrants, none of the officers involved have been arrested for the killing.