It’s hard to solely focus on the sports world with what’s happening around the United States today. It seems that a single day cannot pass without a police officer being killed in the line of duty.
In between those tragic situations, innocent American civilians are finding themselves put in harms way by trigger happy authorities around the United States.
Unfortunately, Tuesday was no different. Kansas City, Kan. Police Captain Robert Melton was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday afternoon after he responded to a call of a drive-by shooting.
Police Chief Terry Zeigler indicated that Melton was then cornered by two suspects, both of whom fired on him. Authorities have one suspect in custody, and have detained to others for questioning.
Immediately after news of this tragic situation broke, Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson — a native of Kansas City — released a heartfelt statement filled with disappointment over recent events.
“Saddened today to read about my city of KCK (Kansas City, Kansas). Saddened that today an officer’s life was taken from gun violence. Saddened that I constantly read about the gun violence in KCK. Disappointed that people actually believe retaliation is ‘cool’ or justified,” Watson’s statement read. “Disappointed that my friends and family who are police officers are now looked upon as ‘them.’ Disappointed that it’s a social divide.”
Watson’s statement is one that echoes others around the basketball world, including recent comments from LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony (more on that here).
It’s not a singular focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, nor is it a condemnation of those movements that practice peace and understanding. Instead, it’s a focus on the divide that has torn this nation apart in recent years.
“Whoever said that violence is the way, lied. And if I am not cool for posting this, then I do not care to be cool at all,” Watson continued. “I’m not looking for votes. I’m me. Won’t change to be cool. I actually dislike ‘cool.’ It’s time to realize that ALL SOULS MATTER! All! Prayers to the family.”
Watson’s comments are sure to draw the ire of those within the American community that believe comments suggesting all lives matter is an indictment on the Black Lives Matter motto. These factions indicate that said motto is not a representation that other lives matter less.
As it is, Watson made sure that he wasn’t going to be quieted during a time when the entire fabric of the American psyche is being uprooted by divisiveness and a mentality of racial tension.
Take what you will out of Watson’s comments. Though, it’s readily apparent that the Suns head coach is feeling the pain of what’s happening in his community. That in and of itself brings this closer to his own home. Watson’s passionate and angry statement magnifies this to a T.