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Nick Collison donates $20,000 to NAACP Legal Defense Fund in relation to the passing of George Floyd

Collison has made a stand against racism and police brutality.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The shocking death of George Floyd on May 25th has caused a massive groundswell of reaction across the U.S. Floyd, a 46 year-old black man, died when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department, pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. Floyd was subsequently pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Floyd’s death has been a lightning rod for protest against issues such as a police brutality and discriminatory policing. Protests have erupted across the world, including Berlin, London and Manchester, seeking an end to police brutality. This tragedy led to a series of protests that we have not seen since the death of Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin. It has led to a renewed desire to change society and attitudes for the better.

Over the course of the last few days, members of the NBA community have come out and supported the protest. Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics led a peaceful protest against police brutality, asking for justice for Floyd. Stephen Jackson came to Minneapolis and promised to get justice for his friend; Jackson had known Floyd since their adolescence in the Third Ward, Houston, Texas. Many more, including Enes Kanter and Kareem Abdul Jabbar have spoken out in support.

Nick Collison is one of these names who has gone a step further and donated to support the protestors.

Collison, a Thunder lifer, donated $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The money that Nick has donated will go towards fighting for racial justice and equality in America. Collison outlined his reasoning for the donation on Twitter.

Nick Collison is just one man, but the example which he has set should be followed. As a people, we must have honest conversations about race and have empathy for our fellow man. It is a requisite if we want to enact social change that will rid the world of this plague-like issue.

The issue of race affects everybody, regardless of social status or wealth. Thabo Sefolosha, a former Thunder player, spoke on how the death of George Floyd affects him. Sefolosha was a victim of police brutality in 2015 when he played for the Atlanta Hawks. New York police used excessive force on Sefolosha as he came out of nightclub. The police broke his leg. Thabo sued for damages and won the legal case, but the emotional scars of that night will likely never fade from his memory.

When I originally saw the video of Floyd, my heart sank, as all of the common talking points came to the fore again. The issue of police brutality and racial discrimination is not a new issue, it is a problem that stems back centuries within world history.

I fully agree with this desire for change. An African-American should not have to wake up and think that this could be their last day on earth because a police officer chooses to take issue with them. Black people should be allowed to live peacefully without threat to their lives. This is a human right that should be afforded to everybody, but sadly this is not the case. Protest and political action are the primary means these outdated attitudes can be fought. The passing of Floyd only stoked a desire to be free from the constant threat that hangs over a lot of minority ethnicities.

Colour, creed and religion should not be a factor in how a man or woman is treated. In the eyes of the law, every citizen is equal, but as we have witnessed, this is not always the case. The enforcement of the law is different for black people, disproportionately harsher.

It is time to fix this issue, we cannot afford to go on while people from a minority-based background are being killed senselessly. It is time to stand up and be counted. It is time to make our voices heard by supporting those who are leading the struggle against racism. I do not care if you are white, black, latino or asian; the cause for justice must be supported.

Honesty and empathy are the basis for building better relationships with police. The adversarial relationship between black people and the police needs to broken apart and reformed. Police officers must understand that African-Americans are the same as them; black people are not an alien population to be subjugated and suppressed.

It is an important first step, if the police can understand the pain and frustration of many African-Americans, they will learn that violence is not the answer. Effective policing is not about force; violence only grows resentment towards police.

As one people, we must treat each other with respect and support our fellow man. The support does not need to be a donation or any grandiose gesture but it must be a change in mind-set. There should be no such thing as ‘us’ and ‘them’. We must go forward with honesty and kindness in our hearts, that is how racism will be eradicated. It is how police brutality will be dismantled.

From everybody here at ‘Welcome to Loud City’, I would like to extend our condolences to the Floyd family. It was a tragedy and you have our prayers during this difficult time.