Veteran forward Kyle Korver spoke about the events that transpired within the Milwaukee Bucks' locker room in late August when the team sat out Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a recent interview with his alma mater Creighton, Korver said he was first brought to tears while preparing for the game after witnessing an emotional outburst from Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham.
"I just sat there in my chair with tears running down my face and I'm looking at my jersey that says 'Black Lives Matter' and I'm just like, 'What are we doing?'" Korver said.
The 39-year-old said that guard George Hill was the first to decide he wouldn't play, followed by Sterling Brown. The two told the rest of the players they didn't have to follow, but everyone eventually agreed as a team to not play.
"And we all just sat there and were like, 'We're all with you. Right? We're with you.' And there was like 13 minutes on the clock, this was happening in real time," he said. "We just kind of sat there and let the clock run out."
Korver, who wrote an essay for The Players' Tribune in April 2019 about race and his own white privilege, said the moment prompted him to ask himself how he could best help his teammates.
"It's always interesting for me as a white man in these spaces what to do. How do I help as a white man? What do I say as a white man in this space? And you know what you do? You stand with the marginalized," Korver said. "And when you can, you amplify their voice. And you listen to their thoughts, and you listen to their ideas. And then you find your way to help out."
While still in their locker room, the Bucks players phoned Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes directly to call for change. Korver said the team was emotionally moved following an ensuing conversation with Blake's family.
"In that moment, we're sitting there listening to his family, his parents, we just sat there," he said. "We stood around the phone and cried.
"And we're like, 'We know we don't know exactly what the future holds. We're not sure exactly what our plan is going for, but we're doing the right thing. This is the right thing.' It was an incredible moment."
Following the Bucks' decision, the NBA postponed all scheduled playoff contests for the next two days. Some players at the Disney World campus even voted to not play the rest of the postseason but ultimately agreed to resume the games.