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Sam Jones and Marcus Smart - 2 generations apart on racial bias and cops - Part I

 


Sam Jones and Marcus Smart may be two generations apart, but they share a view of racial bias and perhaps memories of negative encounters with police officers. My readers already know of the respect I hold for both of these men, So, as a white man who has spent 20 years in law enforcement and another 57 years in civilian life, I listen to what they have to say. Here are some comments from Sam when I spoke with him during a phone interview:

"The League should have done more about racial bigotry (in the 60's)".

"We never should have stayed (in hotels) that segregated us from each other",

"In Kentucky, we (black players) could stay in the hotel but couldn't eat in the hotel restaurant".

"You have to stand up for what is right".

"You gotta walk in my shoes". NOTE: Sam was getting quite intense at this point.

"When I can put on my (Army) uniform. When I can die for the people of the United States of America, but they won't let me eat in their dining room because I'm a black man".

"They (general public) judge one black and put us all together so that we're all bad".

"It's tough being black even in today's world".

"There's a lot of things we have to do".

"Parents need to get a hold of their kids".

"They (Walter Brown and Red Auerbach) were way ahead of themselves. They aggravated a lot of people and stepped on a lot of shoes. Without those two, there never would have been that many blacks in the NBA".

Sam Jones spent roughly 20 minutes talking with me on the present Celtics squad and past stars such as John Havlicek, Larry Siegfried, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, but he went into a near-tirade on the racial bias issue. It went on for another 25 minutes until his bio author, Mark C, Bodanza, prompted Sam that another appointment awaited. Sam remains a true gentleman and his argument against racial bias rang loud and clear with me.

Look for Part II of this article later today. I will present Marcus Smart's position on racial bias and police officers. As a retired Police Lieutenant, I will have some comments of my own.







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