Iowa basketball players are taking the NBA to court over a controversial chant
Posted On June 17, 2021
In the months since the Iowa State basketball team’s historic game-winning layup, fans of the Hawkeyes have been protesting and posting videos on social media that depict players with black skinned faces chanting “Omaha, we can’t do this” and “We are the nation.”
“We’re not here to make fun of you,” Hawkeyes center Tyreke Evans said in one video.
“We don’t hate you, but you don’t have a right to do that.
We’re here to say, ‘Enough is enough,'” said Hawkeyes forward Tyree Thomas in another.
“What the hell are you going to do?”
“You guys are going to have to go back to school,” a woman in a Black Lives Matter t-shirt shouted in another video.
The Hawkeyes and the National Basketball Association have both issued apologies to players and coaches over the chant.
“We’re sorry for the insensitive and disrespectful nature of the chant that was chanted,” the league said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Iowa State coach Tim Beckman told the AP that the team was not protesting the chants and said the players were “all in support of each other.”
The Hawkeyes were eliminated by Iowa in the semifinals on Monday night.
A spokesperson for the NBA said the league is reviewing the situation.
“This kind of language is unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” the spokesperson, Amanda Martin, told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
In another video, Thomas and Evans, who were teammates in college, were seen in a hallway at Iowa’s practice gym holding up a sign that said “I am a Black person and the only way to be successful in the NBA is to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.”
The Black Lives Matters movement is an anti-police, anti-Black and anti-racist movement that gained traction during the 2016 election and was largely fueled by the Black Lives Movement, which is an umbrella group of social movements protesting police brutality and discrimination against African-Americans.
After the 2016 elections, Black Lives movement leaders began to push for more accountability for police officers, which has led to a spike in deaths in the US.
During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump said the Black community should not vote for Democrats, and he said that “if you vote for me, you’re voting for murder.”