Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless shared a story on Wednesday of a run-in with police that he experienced during his time in Portland. Harkless said on one playoff gameday he was pulled over by an officer with his little brother and nephew in the car with him. The officer asked Harkless who owned the car — Harkless did — and took the player’s license and registration. When the officer came back to the car, he said, according to Harkless:
“Oh hey Moe I’m sorry to bother you, there’s been some suspicious activity in the neighborhood, and I saw you coming down that hill a little fast, good luck tonight go get em.”
Harkless then went on to explain why players need to speak up about social injustice:
“See why we can’t ‘just play.’ Because even when we do, we’re still looked at as less when we step off that court, we’re still targeted by officers when we step foot off that court. Luckily I’m a fortunate man who has to deal with less of this in his life, but I feel for my brothers and sisters who aren’t as lucky to show an ID and have an officer’s whole viewpoint of you change in an instant.
So when players boycott that’s who they’re doing it for, and if you’re not on this side frankly we don’t want to hear you. It’s not an issue of race or skin color, it’s right and wrong, selfishness and empathy.
Enough is enough.”
You can read Harkless’ entire story here, or below: