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Trayvon Martin and the Pistons

WASHINGTON – On a superficial level, no Piston resembles Trayvon Martin more than Brandon Knight – Detroit’s youngest player and only native Floridian.

“Stuff happens like this all the time,” Knight said. “It’s just one of those situations where it’s being brought to light. It’s something that the media did catch wind of, but stuff like this happens a lot.

“Like I can tell you, just being from Florida, stuff like that, it happens all the time. But it’s just one of the cases where we finally do realize what’s going on. It’s just blowing up now, but it happened a long time ago.

I told Knight how shocked I was to find out, after first reading about Martin, how long ago his death occurred (follow the link for background on the case, if you’re unfamiliar).

“That just shows you, it just really depends on who catches wind of it and who starts to talk about it,” Knight said. “… It happens a lot more, but it doesn’t always get out to the media.

“It’s just the world we live in today. … I’m not sure if we can just stop it. That’s just how the world is.”

Knight noted that key to trying to prevent incidents like this was raising awareness, but he wasn’t sure what steps he would take right now. The Miami Heat took the lead – before and during their game at Detroit – in using their NBA platform to bring attention to Martin’s death.

“That boy was unarmed and had stuff going for him in life, so it’s sad,” Walker Russell said. “Something has to happen to this guy who did it, I think personally. It’s good to see that more and more people are getting involved with it – especially a team like the Miami Heat, who have so many All-Stars. “

Since then, a couple Pistons have followed suit.

Damien Wilkins set his Twitter picture to an image of Martin, and Charlie Villanueva posted a photo of himself in a hoodie with the caption “Supporting Trayvon Martin.” To Wilkins, supporting Martin was both obvious and important for many NBA players.

“I want justice for him, so keeping the awareness alive,” Wilkins said. “… You’ve got a young black kid that seemed to die an innocent death, murdered in cold blood. The killer can just walk into Chick-fil-A right now.”

Ben Wallace, the future lawyer, took a more measured tone.

“Sometimes, when people try to help and get too involved or get too caught up, they end up hurting the situation,” Wallace said. “So, you’ve got one guy that was trying to help, trying too protect, look out for the community and whatever and might have just made a bad judgment decision. Not only does it affect him and the kid’s family, it affects all of us.”

Wallace said, beyond the social impact, he’s paid particular interest to legal issues of the incident.

“It’s going to be tough to call,” Wallace said. “But eventually, it will have a way of working itself out. Something will show up here. Something will show up here.”

20 Comments

  • Mar 28, 20124:21 pm
    by labatts

    Reply

    Well said by Wallace.

  • Mar 28, 20124:39 pm
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    Agreed! props to Ben. What I hate about this situation is that the focus is so much on race. Everyday in this country a Black kills another Black for being on the wrong side of the tracks. But because Martin was killed by another race there is such outrage and National attention.

    • Mar 28, 20124:52 pm
      by right turn Clyde

      Reply

      Great answer from Ben and another one from soufpaw!

    • Mar 28, 20124:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @soufpaw:

      Well, it isn’t just getting attention because of the races of the shooter/victim. The fact that the victim was unarmed, the fact that the accused pursued despite orders to do otherwise by the dispatcher and the fact that he wasn’t arrested despite evidence suggesting there is probably grounds for an arrest all make this a national story.

      • Mar 28, 20126:31 pm
        by vic

        Reply

        everything Patrick said.

        so therefore, the outrage is because of the Florida law that allows this to happen and let the man go free.
        If the man was arrested, it wouldn’t be national news – whether it was black on black or white on black or black on white.

          • Mar 28, 20127:08 pm
            by oats

            Yes, that law is really dumb, but it’s not the entire story. This story has many elements that make it a big story. That law is just one of them. The police giving witnesses leading questions, or even correcting witness statements is also a big deal. The fact that the lead homicide detective didn’t believe Zimmerman’s claims of self defense and wanted to press charges but was ordered not to is also part of it. Of course, so is the racial component of the story. It’s all part of why this story is so big.

  • Mar 28, 20125:23 pm
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    @Patrick Hayes
    all of those reasons are fine and valid. But it happens everyday in this country And it never gets National attention when its Black on Black.

    • Mar 28, 20125:53 pm
      by rick77

      Reply

      I’m black. I know it’s not important but for you to understand where I am coming from I felt compelled. To your point black on black is not sexy enough for the media. If you have followed this story then you know that this young man laid dead in a morgue for days before his parents were notified and on top of that anywhere you go in this country and if a cop shoots someone then he at least goes out on leave before he comes back to work pending an invenstigation. In this situation the gentlemen was never guestioned and supposedly got his sidearm given back to him.The story itself has to many different variables that need establishing. Now can you understand the frustration? The big elephant in the room is racism and until everyone wants/chooses to sit down and have serious dialogue about it then things like this will continue to boil over. 

      • Mar 28, 20127:02 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        I agree with Rick here. The story is big in part because it’s a white guy who feels threatened because he sees a black kid in a hoodie. That is his actual legal defense at this point, black kid in a hooodie equals scary. I’ve heard more than a few people argue that racism isn’t a big deal in this country anymore, and this story helps show that is simply not the case. Yes, it’s a shame that more black on black crime isn’t properly investigated, but those cases don’t do as good of a job highlighting the failures inherent in the system.  So yes, the races involved in the incident is definitely part of the story, and it is important that it enters the discussion.

  • Mar 28, 20127:24 pm
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    I’ve experienced Police brutality, cover-ups and whatever else you want to add to the equation. also, Zimmerman isn’t white, He’s Latino.  I want him to get whats coming also. But injustice has been a mainstay, And all I’m saying is …where is the equal outrage, protests, and marches when it is black on black? happens daily.

    • Mar 28, 20128:03 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      It was reported as a white neighborhood watch captain. That is why I said white.

      • Mar 28, 20128:07 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        Also, if that report was inaccurate, then sorry about that. I’m not trying to misrepresent the facts or anything, that was just the way I have heard the story reported.

    • Mar 28, 20128:21 pm
      by rick77

      Reply

      It is there Southpaw, but again as a I said before it is not something that’s sexy enough for a newstation to consistently cover that kind of story because it doesnt provide good ratings. I understand what you are saying, but you would be suprised how many people do protest but their is not any notice given to it. For the record Zimmermans father is white and his mother is of ethnic decent. Another example of the media providing only the information they think is important and not the whole story of his ethnicty. Anyways for the people Trying to separate his color/ethnicty from the fact that he shot an unarmed kid belies the wrong he did. He is what he is, a killer that is walking free. When black does kill black and the police find out they more than likely follow that up with an arrest. Do you get where Im going with it? He is a free man and this happened over a month ago. This is where the racial component starts to factor in. Question for you, how many times have you been to a black neighborhood to know whether there is outrage,protest, and marche? If you have no walked a mile in a mans shoes how can you know what experiences they go through? Furthermore how would you kow what issues are being discussed? Not trying to argue here but what I am doing is trying to understand why you think that their is no debate going on in black neignborhoods when msm control what information gets out to the masses. The media  only goes with what sells and what gets people to clicking that station/link. Its the world we live in today. You would be suprised that more often than not that their are many blacks communities that are up in arms as to what ails their neigborhoods, but you can only say and do so much. Again the media knows what gets people going and that is controversy. This is a hot topic and what controversial issue that you know of that wouldnt be good without a racial elemnet added to it. It just oozes ratings to some and they could care less about peoples feelings.

  • Mar 28, 20129:10 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    You’re missing a huge point though: black people aren’t killing other people because of the victims’ race. Moreover, when the suspected killer is known, they typically are arrested when located. I know the media’s selectivity plays a role in this case getting heard, but there is also a major difference in this story as opposed to unreported violence between blacks.

  • Mar 28, 20129:14 pm
    by labatts

    Reply

    I think I am too late to the party here, but I just wanted to say that I agree with rick77.  Certainly we get a tailored view of the world via the media.  I remember seeing footage of some random Iraqi people cheering when 911 happened.  This lead everyone to believe that ALL of Iraq – heck, all of the middle east – were happy about the bombings.  This was, of course, not true.  But, this image is what sticks in people’s minds.
    Geraldo essentially said that the kid had it coming because he was wearing a hoodie.  I would imagine that there are plenty of people who actually believe this.
    Soufpaw, I guess I don’t understand where you are coming from.  What is the point of mentioning that black people kill black people all the time?  How is this relevant?  I am not trying to argue, I just don’t see the logic so please don’t take offense.
    Myself, I don’t see how this could NOT be about race.  Whether he intended to or not, a white man killed a black man and the people in charge in Florida don’t care.  Let’s be real.  There is a history of this kind of thing, like it or not.  We would all like to believe that things are different now, but are they?  Rest assured, if a black man kills a black man, someone will get arrested.

  • Mar 29, 20128:07 am
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    @ Rick. I am Blacker than Your Blackest Stallion, So Is my woman, and so are my Children. I was born and spent a great deal of My Life in Detroit, Davison and Dequindre to be exact. Google Map it and see whats left of it.  So let’s set aside what the news is reporting for a sec. and just focus solely on what is going on with the “People”. can’t recall the last time a Black Man killed another and 25k people showed up to March. Cant recall Brother Al or Jesse being that involved either. Cant recall an Underground rapper Crafting a song that is getting national spins about a Black Man killed by another.  I could care less about what the Media reports. What I care about is the community response. And for the record There are countless unsolved homicides out there simply because ” the victim and perp were black” You can go many places in America and the Attitude of the Police and the people of any given community is “1 down, who’s next”. 

    @Labbats. mentioning Black on Black is very relevant Because the response of the ”People” to this case and lack of response to others is sickening. Injustice and or loss of a life only has value en masse when the race card can be used. And like mentiond above. this aint the first Police cover-up. I’ve witnessed them with my own eyes and I’ve walked amongst Murderers in the free world. So If I, In my very small radius of travels can recount more than I care to share, Then I am sure we can all agree that It happens a lot. And quite often the Value of a Black life is worthless “to Many” unless he/she is killed by the otherside.

    • Mar 29, 20129:58 am
      by sebastian

      Reply

      soufpaw, sho’ you right! There are even instances where black on black homicides occur and the perp wheres a hoddy.
      The media (especially CNN, MSNBC/GE, ABC/Walt Disney) are lathering in the controversy, all the way to the bank, while the knuckleheads at Fox stumble around the controversy, not knowing how to report the facts of the case.
      But, indeed, it appears that blacks get more inflamed, when a non-black kills another black.
      Personally, I think that the local authorities in Sanford, Florida are in deep shit, as there is an obvious attempt to suppress the evidence in this case, allowing a guilty man to walk free.

      I, for the record, am an American Negro.

  • Mar 29, 20128:11 am
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    @ Youssif
    Black People kill other black people Mostly because of Race, And if that is not enough, We can begin to talk about Gang violence and bring Primary colors into the discussion.

  • Apr 23, 201212:17 am
    by soufpaw

    Reply

    A whole lot of interesting twists are coming out. And I will always say Z. was wrong. The #1  rule of concealed carry is to avoid confrontation.

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