Young Thug, Meek Mill, and Trey Songz are dividied over a controversial face mask worn by James Harden.
Houston Rockets star James Harden found himself on the wrong side of the divide when, unbeknownst to him, his fashion choice made him seem like a sellout among supporters of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The Black Lives Matter campaign was born out of anti-racial groups protesting against the plights people of color face. The death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement compounded previous acts of police brutality and racial instability to bring across the nationwide protest that is still carrying on to this day.
In support of the movement, The National Basketball Association [NBA] has since pledged to allow players to add slogans and phrases to their jerseys for the upcoming season, as a way to bring awareness to the movement. The LA Times reported that some of the approved messages are as follows: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Vote,” “Justice,” “Stand Up,” “Listen,” “Listen to Us,” “Say Their Names,” “Peace,” “How Many More,” “Education Reform,” “Liberation,” “Equality,” “Freedom,” “Enough,” Si Se Puede,” “Say Her Name,” “Mentor,” “I Am A Man,” “Speak Up,” “Ally,” “Anti-Racist,” “Justice Now,” “Power to the People,” “See Us,” “Hear Us,” “Respect Us,” “Love Us,” and “Group Economics.”
While speaking to the media on Thursday, James Harden spoke about his inability to make it to George Floyd’s funeral that was held in Houston. However, he mentioned that “the way the city rallied was amazing.”
“I think the world saw it,” he added. “How so many people could come together so close, obviously it was for a tragic reason but the marching and everything we’re standing for is very powerful.”
Harden seemingly went against that grain when he pulled up to Orlando to join his teammates. The main source of the contention against him had to do with the mask he was wearing in an Instagram post shared to the NBA’s official social media account.
The mask’s design, which featured a thin blue line, was immediately seen as being symbolic of the police advocated Blue Lives Matter group that was started to combat the Black Lives Matter movement.
This certified clown shit. I’ll say it for everybody who scared to. FOH https://t.co/pVRMaL9dPG
— Trey Songz (@TreySongz) July 17, 2020
American singer and avid activist for the BLM movement Trey Songz was one of the first persons to publicly question Harden’s motives. “This certified clown s***. I’ll say it for everybody who scared to,” he wrote.
Rapper Young Thug came out in support of Harden by mentioning the player’s earlier plans to distance himself from social media and other forms of distractions in order to focus on his career.
“Just so u know James Harden is my brada,” wrote Young Thug. “Btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US.”
Just so u know James harden is my brada… btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US…but I hate when rappers get in niggas biz like it’s can’t happen to em? buster let niggas clear they shit up activist
— Young Thug ? (@youngthug) July 17, 2020
Meek tweeted, “Y’all know damn well Jh don’t know what that mask meant because I don’t! He donate millions in real life to our people! End of story.”
Y’all know damn well Jh don’t know what that mask meant because I don’t! He donate millions in real life to our people! End of story.
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) July 17, 2020
The Philadephia rapper’s comment was in direct relation to Harden’s revelation that he did not know what the design on the mask stood for.
“Honestly, I wasn’t trying to make a political statement,” the 8-time All-Star said. “I wore it because it covered my face, my beard.” He added, “I thought it looked cool, that was it.”
Maybe this will see Harden taking a much closer look at his clothing before getting dressed.
James Harden: "It was just something that covered my whole beard. I thought it looked cool. That was it." Harden said he's in process of determining how he will voice his support for the Black Lives Matter while in NBA bubble, including whether he will have a message on jersey.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 17, 2020