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Nets coach Steve Nash reacts to Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict

Nets, Steve Nash, Kyle Rittenhouse

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash expressed his disappoint over the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

On Friday, news came out that Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges related to the deadly Kenosha shootings he was involved in. The incident left two people dead and badly injured another during protests against racial injustice in 2020. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges he faced.

Back in 2020, people were out protesting the deadly police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, 18, ran into crowds with an AR-15 style rifle. He claimed he was trying to help local businesses and provide aid. He would then open fire on protestors, who the defendant claimed endangered him. Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, claimed he was acting in self-defense. The verdict raises an uncomfortable precedent for folks who carry these types of automatic or semi-automatic weapons in crowded places without any good reason.

The verdict also raised age old questions of fairness in the criminal justice system in the United States. Some stars have taken to social media to highlight the infuriating leniency Rittenhouse (white) faced given the history of inequality in court rooms facing people of color.

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves added on Twitter, saying “the system is broken.”

Before the game on Friday against the Orlando Magic, the Nets coach was asked if the team had spoken about the verdict and if he had any thoughts.

“We haven’t talked about it,” said a somber Steve Nash. “These situations are disappointing. It’s important to not become demoralized. And for people to continue to fight for the type of justice and equality that I think serves all. And while I think it raises a lot of eyebrows, questions, a lot of pain, it’s important that we recognize there has to be a path forward. It can’t be ‘well this is just the way it is.'”

“And so I think the movement,” continued the Nets head coach, “that we’ve experienced one way or the other is pushing change. Even if you can’t see that change on a daily basis or even year-by-year, over the course of time, without that type of attention and will power to come together and fight for a better future, I think there would be no change. And it’s paramount in the seeds of change.

So I think these are always opportunities for us to look in the mirror.”

It seems that Nash believes our criminal justice system has some serious flaws and that as tragic as this incident is, it will help us to not become complacent or demoralized. Fans will recall, back in September of 2020, Nash used his platform to speak up at that tense and trying time as well.

“As a human being, it’s hard to live with racial injustice,” Nash told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated last year.  “It’s important for white people to take a deep look at what is occurring in our communities and what has been occurring for 400 years. A component of this conversation needs to be that white people need to not be offensive about white privilege or inequality. They just need to be honest, have those conversations and ask ourselves how we would feel if we had endured this 400-plus-year history.”

Chances are the Nets will eventually have some conversation about the incident. One imagines their players will respect that they have a head coach who is willing to speak up when the moment calls for it.