OKC Thunder: Nick Collison donates $20k to NCAAP, calls for empathy and humanity

OKC Thunder: Nick Collison (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Nick Collison (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Retired OKC Thunder star Nick Collison donates $20,000 to the NCAAP Legal Defense Fund and hit social media calling for empathy and humanity.

Not having live sports is tough but it was essential OKC Thunder players like the rest of the population exercised stay-at-home measures while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. 2020 will always be remembered as a year of turmoil but not just because of the COVID-19 situation.

America is witnessing unrest from coast to coast as crowds take to the streets in protest of the death of George Floyd and as night fell in many states peaceful protests turned to riots.

These actions are in response to Police officer Derek Chauvin and three other Minneapolis officers who arrested George Floyd culminating in his death. Chauvin was the officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes cutting off his ability to breathe. Video of the incident shows bystanders trying to get Chauvin to remove his knee while Floyd said “I can’t breathe” and called out for his Mother.

Chauvin was arrested on Friday in response to days of protests and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers involved in the arrest were fired although there are calls for them to also be charged.

Protestors are focused on the message Black Lives Matter, a movement formed following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman. The recent death of Ahmaud Arbery (February 23rd), killed while out for a jog are also top of mind. Arbery was killed by father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael who weren’t arrested for over two months despite the murder being on film.

Nick Collison among athletes responding to Floyd’s death:

Many NBA players and other sporting stars are using their fame to call for change. Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown led a peaceful march in his hometown of Georgia. ESPN writer, Tim Bontemps details Brown and Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon’s participation in the peaceful protest.

"“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community,” Brown said. “This is a peaceful protest. Being a celebrity, being an NBA player, don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost, I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community. … We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK."

Stephen Jackson who was good friends with Floyd marched in Minneapolis with Karl-Anthony Towns (who came out despite still grieving the passing of his mother to COVID-19) and Josh Okogie.

On Saturday, there was a peaceful protest in my home city Toronto and the Raptors released this statement today on Twitter:

Given his activism, I suspect Chris Paul will eventually comment or join his fellow NBA stars with some action. In the interim, it was a former OKC Thunder leader who took action. Nick Collison announced he was donating $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. His initial tweet said:

"“Today I donated $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the memory of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other people whose lives weren’t valued because of the color of their skin. There is a burden carried by men and women of color in our that I will never feel.”"

It’s not surprising Collison would step up in this situation and provide logic and thoughtful insight into these matters. The beloved Thunder star posted a trio of heartfelt tweets suggesting parents have conversations with their children to teach empathy and practice humanity.

The following were his second and third tweets from the series he posted:

More from Thunder News

In the last tweet from the series he posted on Friday he called for others to join him via their actions.

"“At the very least stop with the questioning, the defending, the what about-isms. I am so angry and disgusted with so much of what I have seen. I’m worried about our future. I have been inactive for too long. This is what I can do today. Join me and what you can do today”"

Yesterday, Oklahoma City also held a peaceful protest.

Collison’s wise comments are touching and point to why this man was so beloved in OKC. It wasn’t just what he did on the hardwood but off it as well. His call for empathy and humanity will hopefully resonate with the masses.

Be well and stay safe everyone.

Next. ANALYSIS2d Dissecting 16 playoff seeds and 4 WC team records. dark