Former NBA star Stephen Jackson has sparked controversy by claiming that he is the face of the biggest civil rights movement ever with George Floyd while criticizing the NBA. Jackson, who was a close friend of Floyd and became an outspoken activist after his death, said that the NBA did not reach out to him for the Black Lives Matter movement or for social justice or equality.
Jackson made these remarks during a segment on the Big 3, a three-on-three basketball league owned by rapper Ice Cube, that features ex-NBA players. Jackson praised the Big 3 for being the only black-owned professional league and urged people to support it. He also slammed the NBA for not helping Ice Cube's league and for ignoring his role in the civil rights movement.
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“This is the only black-owned professional league; we need to come out and support it, and I’ve been with this guy (Ice Cube) since year one, he’ll tell you I just want to see him win. There’s no reason for the NBA to not support this league, it’s all ex-NBA players.”
He proceeded to make his claim, “I’m going to give you a perfect example, I’m the face of the biggest civil rights movement ever with George Floyd; I’m an NBA champion; I played in the NBA, the NBA didn’t reach out to me for Black Lives Matter, the movement for social justice, or for equality.”
Jackson faces backlash for his controversial statements on social media
Jackson's comments did not sit well with many people on social media, who accused him of being delusional, arrogant, and disrespectful to other civil rights leaders and activists. Some users pointed out that Jackson was not even involved in the protests or marches that took place after Floyd's death. Others questioned his credibility and motives and suggested that he was trying to promote himself and the Big 3 at the expense of the NBA and the BLM movement.
Jackson spoke at a rally in Minnesota the day after Floyd's passing to denounce Derek Chauvin and the police who killed his "twin." The emotional gathering aided in the social justice and equality movement's rapid global and interstate spread. The influence of Stephen Jackson was undeniable, but people seem to be ripping him apart for placing himself above the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.