The 2020 NBA Playoffs will resume, presumably in the near future, but the league’s Thursday night slate of games was postponed. With an open space on the television calendar, ESPN pivoted from the scheduled game broadcast to a special edition of NBA Countdown, with Maria Taylor hosting the show. As part of a discussion during the program, Taylor shared a story from her personal life, reflecting on what her father said to her brother about interactions with the police.
"Comply or die. That is the only thing we're able to tell our young Black sons."@MariaTaylor shared what her father, who was in the FBI, told her brother about interacting with police. pic.twitter.com/VDJukqNSWr
— ESPN (@espn) August 28, 2020
Taylor’s story is likely all too familiar to many Americans and, as she notes, the fact that her father was a member of law enforcement seemingly saved her brother from a charge that he did not earn. Her words also come at a time when many in the broadcast media are sharing what is on their hearts.
NBA champion Robert Horry recently spoke of fearing for his children’s lives, with TNT analyst Kenny Smith electing to leave the set in solidarity and support of NBA players, and former All-Star and current TNT analyst Chris Webber pleading for change in a moving statement of his own. While there are, unfortunately, many more stories and insights being shared both inside and outside the sports world, the willingness for on-air personalities to make themselves vulnerable in this setting can impact change, and it is admirable and needed at this important juncture.