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Durant Says He Wonders How People Would View Him If He Was Just A ‘Black Man’ Who Didn’t Play B-Ball
Since entering the league, Kevin Durant has been viewed as one of the best players in the entire NBA, especially for a player his size that can move, dribble, and score like he does on a consistent basis.
While talking to Logan Murdock of Mercury News, the Golden State Warriors star discussed race and how he has often wondered how people would view him in society if he wasn’t an NBA player—a title, he says that has basically protected him from the scrutiny other minorities around him have gone through:
“Finally waking up, to be honest. Just kind of seeing how rough it is for an average black man, you know what I’m saying? And on top of that, a black man makes one mistake … I see how far we get pushed down. For me, I kind of grew up in this basketball world, whereas my talent kind of overrides what I look like.
I didn’t have it as rough when it comes to that, as far as social or systematic oppression or any social issues. They didn’t really apply to me because I could put a ball in a basket. Just me saying that kind of woke me up a little bit, like “Damn, that’s all I’m good for?” Like, if I wasn’t a basketball player, what kind of man would they look at me as, you know what I’m saying?
In terms of what value can I bring to you outside of playing basketball. I bring a lot of value to people as far as how I treat them, how I encourage them, how I just try to be a good person to them. I feel there’s like a lot of black men that have those traits, but they often just get stereotyped or judged off of one incident or not given a second chance.
So if I find something that’s empowering to people that look like me, I just try to send a subtle message that I got your back and I hear you and I try to inspire you as much as I can from just being in this world as a black man coming up, even though I was looked at and viewed a little differently for it. But I’m still a black man. I understand where you’re coming from.”
KD went on to speak about how his close friends would constantly get in trouble in the streets for dealing drugs and taking part in other illegal activities. He often wondered where he’d be right now if he wasn’t busy trying to perfect his game instead of getting into trouble like those around him.
“I didn’t have it as rough when it comes to that, as far as social or systematic oppression or any social issues. They didn’t really apply to me because I could put a ball in a basket,” Durant added. “Just me saying that kind of woke me up a little bit, like, ‘Damn, that’s all I’m good for?’ Like, if I wasn’t a basketball player, what kind of man would they look at me as, you know what I’m saying?”