Raptors President Masai Ujiri Discusses Spreading Social Awareness in Orlando | The Arena

published on July 24, 2020

To welcome in messiah jury president of the toronto raptors who is in the orlando bubble messiah thank you for being here we've noticed that so many players who come from other countries are on the forefront of protesting in this

Movement we have the social justice movement because they know about a political struggle as we can see so talk to me about giannis and what he represents for the league and this movement

Uh first of all thank you thanks guys i've been watching the show it's been awesome what a what a wonderful i think piece uh incredible journey by an incredible family uh it just shows us that

Um there is racism everywhere it's a global pandemic and this is something worth dealing with um there's a story here behind immigration there's a story here behind

Redemption and it shows you that for me humanity is the first thing you have to look at we have to look at ourselves as who we are as people and for those people that

Maybe didn't treat him so well you never know where somebody is going to what somebody is going to become and where somebody is going to go the other thing i'll say is growing up i see him janis and

Other players that come from all over the world we see america as god's own country okay and when we see these things happen you see these things happen in a country like america um it shows

It showed in that video the thing we questioned there was leadership in greece and it shows us what we're dealing with now in america is leadership you know messiah

A couple questions number one how have you talked to your players about demonstrating and also have you talked to them about what to do during the national anthem uh you know we haven't actually like

Discussed um gone into exactly what they are going to do but we have talked about black lives matter

So much uh charles these these guys are so into it and are really representing i think their neighborhoods the places that they come from they are representing their family and

They're representing america they are out there representing black america which is i think the most important thing and they see it that's why they came to play

It was important that we came to play here it was important for our players to come and play here and really demonstrate and show because first of all there is economic opportunity right and they are not

Giving that up they are coming here to play for something right and to show that yeah they want to help their families they want to help where they come from draymond here

Um first off congratulations on beating us last year but you you guys i'm on your bus black lives matter and as a canadian team it doesn't directly

Impact your team because you're an entirely different country what made you guys take the stand and put it on your bus i think one of what 22 teams that actually went through with it

Where did idea come from and why'd you guys feel the need to push that through well we thought uh thanks draymond uh you've been unbelievable too on this and and what you're speaking on and i think the league is proud of you

For us um we said we were going to use the bubble as a statement right we say said we're going to use this place as a platform and we thought that coming in here

You have to make a statement you have to for me you have to create awareness what you guys are doing over there is creating awareness you are talking about this and we have to continue to do that and we

Thought um what greater way than to ride through um florida for three hours and and sure and show people you know we know what's going on in the country

And why head into the bubble and what what is going on here what adam silver has done here to get the league back who are excited about that but there's something on our minds too

And we wanted to show people that as we come in not just the toronto raptors we represent the nba that there is something that's all on the minds of all the players

And all the teams messiah this is uh jamel must be interesting riding through florida with that bus i can only imagine what the reaction might have been um this is a different kind of racial

Conversation that i've seen us have in this country i don't think we've ever been in at a moment quite like this since i've been alive what do you hope is accomplished from this momentum that

We're building now well we have to take advantage of it jamel this is this is our time you know like this is a time for black people to speak this is a time for white people to speak

Um black lives does too much it does matter now and you know we have to think about the future we have to think about the next generation and how we prepare for this the other thing i'll say is

It's a time for us to really be true as humans to call out when there is racism and that's why we call out on leadership i see a problem because there's a lot of leaders not speaking

There's a lot of people not talking and i don't know why that is because of economic opportunities or what it is but it's time for us to think about ourselves as humans okay and what comes first and it's

Really really a time for us to address racism now not only in america but all over the world you know messiah you've been with your team y'all actually went down to florida early

And i know you guys have probably had some private conversations are you guys really angry that y'all are probably the most disrespected champions in the history of basketball nobody has mentioned the toronto raptors

All year are you guys having some private conversations say let's get these guys you know charles it's kind of what we live with but we are proud to be the only basketball team that's outside

America and i think winning a championship proved that for us but um the nba is all about playing the nba is all about competing that's why you have 30 teams and

Honestly as long as i'm there as long as we have this team we have these players who are coming in there to compete we're coming in there to defend our title we're coming in there to be better

And um nobody fears anybody in the nba we all wear our pants the same way and um we're going to we're going to come in and try and uh play basketball yeah okay beside talk your stuff i'm

With it right i like it we all put our hands off i'm gonna take that as a hard yes okay so a hard yes i thank you for being here we appreciate you we appreciate the work that you are doing

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