FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 27th, 2020

CHRIS WEBBER, EMMANUEL SANDERS AND DAVE ROBERTS ON SPORTS BOYCOTTS — QUOTES FROM THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON PEACOCK & NBCSN

“I really think everything needs to be a perfect storm and this was the perfect storm for activism because there’s no distractions.” – Chris Webber on how the Orlando bubble impacted NBA player boycotts

“I understand there’s bigger issues and trying to find the bigger picture, which is the most exhausting part of it. Yeah, we sit out one game and the next game we play, so what is the true meaning?… For me, I’m trying to find the bigger picture and just can’t see it.” – Emmanuel Sanders on whether NFL players would boycott games similarly to NBA players if they were playing now

 “I think the conversations will still happen and need to happen. Now to kind of understand for the industry to support it, we need to come together and find solutions.” – Dave Roberts on continuing social injustice conversations after the Dodgers boycotted last night’s game

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 27, 2020 – Host Rich Eisen was joined on today’s episode of The Rich Eisen Show on Peacock and NBCSN by:

    • NBA on TNT analyst Chris Webber
    • New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders
    • Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts

 

Peacock will become The Rich Eisen Show’s exclusive video home on Oct. 5.

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Chris Webber on NBA players boycotting games: “It’s just a lot of emotion…I’m proud that young people had so much passion, pain and love in their hearts that it just didn’t sit right with them and they decided to do something, which meant do nothing yesterday. The point I wanted to make about the players yesterday was I just didn’t want to bash them. I didn’t want everyone to throw away what they did and be like, all these entitled athletes, they never give back and if they do, they take off and boycott, they don’t know what it’s really like… I just wanted to stand with those players in some way and if they did in fact decide to play, I’m very happy that they are going to continue because they started the conversation…I was encouraged and hopefully people can just express their pain, have conversations, and hopefully things can change.”

Webber on how the NBA bubble is impacting players’ actions and conversations on racial injustice: “You can’t hug your friends, can’t see your grandmother. I really think everything needs to be a perfect storm and this was the perfect storm for activism because there’s no distractions. There aren’t that many sports, you don’t have college football ramping up and other things I like. They are but they haven’t been on TV. I think the world has gotten the chance to see what really goes on…Watch the news way too much and see these same instances happen. I think here in the bubble…I think a lot of these guys feel like ‘I’m not using the value that I have. I’m wasting my value and could be doing something.’ And they may feel like it’s frustrating that I’m here and not doing anything while the world is burning. You know, so I do think the bubble has had an effect on guys and their anxiousness, wanting to speak out and do something.”

Webber on the importance of having the conversation surrounding racial injustice: “I believe personally that sports are the first introduction of someone not like you into your family and living room. I suspect that in the ‘50s and ‘60s — ‘40s when Jackie Robinson came into baseball — that there were not many Black people in the homes of White Americans. There weren’t people that you could say, ‘Hey son, I want you to work hard like Jackie (Robinson).’ You know what sports does? It takes all the blinders off and just puts it on the characteristics — hard work, tough, show up. Things that are common denominators and all admire. The fact that my nephew loves (Luka) Doncic as much as he loves LeBron (James) speaks to that.”

Emmanuel Sanders on the video of the Jacob Blake shooting and his own experiences: “I was disgusted and it’s crazy. Here I am, I’m an African-American and I don’t do any bad. I’ve been racially profiled just driving my car…I was out here in New Orleans and an officer pulled me over, said I was doing 75 mph and ran a red light when I know I didn’t run a red light. He told me to get out of my car, and I got out of my car and we talked. He let me go. But then I’m leaving work and I’m driving home down the same road, this was probably about five hours later, I see down the same road I’m driving, and I look to the left and I see an African-American outside of his car and a cop talking to him. And then I drive probably less than a mile down the road and I see another African-American outside of his car talking to a cop. I was just like, wow they are racially profiling down this road right now because it happened to me this morning and it’s not a coincidence.”

Sanders on if NFL players would have done the same as the NBA players did last night, if there were preseason games: “I don’t know. For me, I sit back and look back at the situation and say, ‘Okay, you postpone the game.’ What is the end goal? I don’t know, it’s a sticky situation for me. I support what they are doing, but for me, what’s the bigger picture like? I don’t see the bigger picture, so to cancel a preseason game where guys have the opportunity to showcase their talents to play and make a team, make a living for their family, I don’t know. I understand there’s bigger issues and trying to find the bigger picture, which is the most exhausting part of it. Yeah, we sit out one game and the next game we play, so what is the true meaning? What is it really changing? For me, I’m trying to find the bigger picture and just can’t see it. The only way I can see it is through the government and the President making laws to bring some kind of change.”

Sanders on if he thinks there will be a full NFL season: “I hope. The only thing that scares me about the season is going to be the bye week when players have that time off and when families come into town fresh off a plane to come to a game. That’s the only thing that truly scares me. If we can control that, I think we can possibly finish the season.”

Dave Roberts on the postponement of yesterday’s Dodgers vs. Giants game: “It’s player-driven, it’s individual. Mookie (Betts) and I talked, decided at the heels of what’s going on in our country, we needed to make a stand. He decided he wasn’t going to play. For me as well, I felt the same and decided I wasn’t going to manage. George Lombard, first base coach, felt the same way and we brought it to the players in the clubhouse and kind of told them our thoughts…They were all aligned and playing wasn’t the right thing to do…I know Mookie has been on Zoom calls all morning with the players alliance and those guys trying to figure out what the Black players in baseball should and are going to do. Mookie came to the consensus that he wanted to play both games today and I thought that was amazing and I’m excited about that.”

Roberts on how the postponement of yesterday’s game can help social injustice issues: “[It] promoted a lot of conversation in the last 24 hours. I think the conversations will still happen and need to happen. Now to kind of understand for the industry to support it, we need to come together and find solutions.” 

–NBC SPORTS–