Andre Iguodala gives eye-opening analogy about police violence
The NBA is looking more and more engaged with social protests about police violence, even during preseason games – several teams and players have found ways to voice their opinions on the matter.
But no one has addressed the matter more bluntly than Andre Iguodala did on Tuesday. The Golden State Warriors sixth man offered a brilliant analogy between professional athletes and police, both of whom nowadays face an incredible spotlight from the media.
“The police are definitely needed, (but) at the end of the day it’s just holding them accountable,” Iguodala, a member of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee, told USA TODAY Sports. “You hold athletes accountable, right? Whenever we screw up, it’s headline news – ‘how did this guy mess up?’ We’re almost looked at as God-like figures, like we shouldn’t screw up, when we’re actually human beings. They’re looked at as God-like figures as well, but when they do wrong, it’s almost like they didn’t do it. We’re held in the same ideology, but we’re held to different standards.”
His statement shines a lot of light at the double-standard athletes face, with players like Derrick Rose facing rape allegations, Darren Collison pleading guilty to domestic battery and Ty Lawson coming back from repeated DUI violations.
When these athletes make a mistake, there’s no teammates coming to the rescue or a team statement supporting their player or the NBA backing them — they usually offer no comment or shy away from defending the player in question — it’s the athlete and his agent on their own.
While that is considered proper procedure for cases with public figures, there’s rarely a police incident of violence where the police department doesn’t release statement saying why the officer was right in arresting, beating or even killing a civilian.
The difference lies in a culture that’s been harbored for many years where police defend each other almost blindly because it’s what they’re taught to do – the same culture that’s been harbored in professional fields like medicine, law and many other professions.
Aside from being a member of the NBPA, Andre Iguodala is known as one of the most cerebral players in the NBA. Standing at 6-foot-6 and a chiseled 215 pounds, the 2015 Finals MVP offers a rare combination of freakish athletic ability and brains to boot.
The NBA is a predominantly black league, so there undoubtedly will be more socially-conscious voices to be heard and hopefully more educated insights like Andre Iguodala’s to start an informed conversation on the issues that have taken many players and teams a reason to unite.