Last Monday, the Locker Room Access JWilly Show welcomed an eclectic panel to discuss racism, police brutality, and various methods and solutions to put an end to the obvious systemic issues that have been the source of so much discussion, controversy, and desperation throughout our nation in recent weeks.
The list of guests on the show includes Malcolm Brogdon, Ty Jerome, Wally Walker, Jenny Boucek, Tate Frazier, Fred Davie, and of course, regulars Mark Jerome and Jason Williford.
The show opens with Mark Jerome, son Ty, Williford, and Brogdon speaking on racism and police brutality. Says Mark Jerome, “we would be nothing short of irresponsible if we didn’t.”
The four of them talk bluntly about what being black in the United States is, particularly in relation to the police. They also hit heavily on Colin Kaepernick and his efforts to protest racial injustice, the backlash he faced at the time, and the current state of affairs and opinions surrounding kneeling for the national anthem.
When asked about why he feels the necessity to speak out, Williford says that “I think it’s gone on way too long, to be quite honest,” adding that “we continue to see [police brutality and the mistreatment of black people in the United States] over and over again, and these issues need to be heard.”
Williford continues, saying “I think people are fed up. I think police have to be held accountable… they need to be punished,” emphasizing that “I think there has to be reform within the police departments. There needs to be reform in our country. Social injustice needs to change.” Williford marched in Richmond on the sixth, and he talks about how seeing his former and current players speaking out gave him the confidence to do so.
The UVA Basketball Community Speaks Out Following the Murder of George Floyd
At the 13:30 mark in the discussion, Ty Jerome notes Donald Trump’s impact as the enabler of the neo-Nazi and KKK march in Charlottesville in 2017, referring to a tweet he sent at the time. He says that “many people aren’t going to change their minds no matter what you do, no matter what you say,” adding that “those blind trump supporters… are racist without even knowing whether they’re openly racist or don’t believe they’re racist.”
Tate Frazier, of the Titus and Tate Podcast, also joined the show (at the 21:50 mark) and discussed his own white privilege and the responsibility of white people in these trying times. When asked about the number of young, white people supporting the cause of fighting racial injustice and oppression, Tate says that “I think it comes down to influence and culture,” noting, “when you ask me who my hero was, my hero was a six-foot six black man from Wilmington, North Carolina. I wanted to be Michael Jordan.”
He continues, saying “that journey for white people in America, having heroes that are black males… if your hero is an African American male going through the African American experience, why would you not try to listen to that plight? Why wouldn’t you not want to understand, and help, and engage, and understand where they’re coming from. I think that is what is happening in this generation,” before adding the caveat that “at least I hope that’s what’s happening. I hope it’s not a façade. I hope its not a farce. I hope people are genuine in what they are doing.”
Jenny Boucek, a UVA basketball player from 1992-1996, the former head coach of the Seattle Storm in the WNBA, and now a member of the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff, joined the show thirty-four minutes in. Boucek talks about the impact of basketball on her perception on race and integration.
She also touches on raising her daughter and how white people need to parent their children and address racism. Says Boucek, “I think modeling is the most important thing… modeling kindness and respect to all people,” noting how “since the day [her two year old daughter] was born she’s been looked after by these NBA guys,” emphasizing “that we need to get out in front of educating [our children].”
After Boucek, Fred Davie, the chairman of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, entered the show at the forty-five-minute mark. While Davie’s description of the department was a tad long-winded, the CCRB is obviously a phenomenal organization.
Notably, the CCRB brought justice to Eric Garner by punishing the officer who killed him. Before checking off the call at the 56:00 mark, Davie notes that the CCRB receives over 6,000 complaints per year about the NYPD despite the fact that “too many people in NYC don’t know [the CCRB].”
Wally Walker then hopped on the panel at the 56:50 mark to discuss his perspective on race. He mentions how, while he grew up in a very white town and a white high school, a number of black college players took him under their wing and “saw something in me before I saw something in myself.” Walker adds that when talking to his white friends they’ve remarked how “they want to help… they wanted to talk about it before… but now its about what I can do and what I can do to help.”
Wally Walker joins the Locker Room Access Podcast
He also addresses how, “when we (white people) get pulled over, we’re worried about if we can talk our way out of this ticket and if we can’t our insurance rates,” but, in the same scenario, his black friends are “worried about life and death.”
While he was present throughout the show, Malcolm Brogdon closes out the panel discussion talking about what can be done. He says that “two of my solutions are that we need to vote. We have to vote at the local level,” noting that “I think every level is huge, but choosing people that represent you and the community well, that represent people in the lower socio-economic classes. I think that’s super important.”
Secondly, he emphasizes that “I think the black community needs allies. We need people of all races, white people, Hispanics. I think we need everybody stepping up for us, standing beside us, speaking up.” He points out that everyone will have a different way of contributing to the movement, saying “Whether it is bringing more diversity into your business. Whatever it is, whatever your mode… everybody isn’t going to be out there marching. That’s something that needs to be understood,” emphasizing that “everybody’s way isn’t going to be to go out to protest. I think you have to figure your way to support the movement,” adding that “as long as we’re all active and we’re looking for actionable solutions, and not just conversations, I think this can be more and more productive and we can see real change.”
This panel addresses just about every aspect of the issues of racial injustice plaguing our nation, and the varying perspectives provide a succinct outlook on what needs to be, can be, and will be done to help see that real change we all know is necessary.
If you haven’t yet, watch this video. You’ll be better off for it.