Warriors superstar player Draymond Green has been in the news for throwing a punch at one of his own teammates, Jordan Poole. And, he has also been on the news dialing back and apologizing for his actions. Does he deserve a second chance? Should he be punished by the league? These were a few of the lingering questions that I got the opportunity to speak with Professor William J. Drummond about, who is a long time sports fan, and get some of his thoughts about the matter.
Timothy Hicks: Professor Drummond, it’s good to see you after this quarantine stuff.
William Drummond: It’s good to see you too, Tim. I wanted to talk to you about the Draymond incident.
TH: Yeah I saw that. It raised some concerns for me, too. I like the guy’s passion for the game, but this incident raised an eyebrow. Tell me your thoughts about it.
WD: Well, Tim, I graduated from McClymonds High School six years after Bill Russell was there. And I grew up watching him play basketball at all the high levels. That’s where I learned that that’s how a professional NBA player is supposed to conduct himself—a professional athlete of any kind, for that matter.
TH: I did a story on him. He has many accolades for his professionalism and was known as a standup guy. Rest his soul.
WD: Yes, Bill Russell always held his composure while in public. Even while times were stressful for people of color in the ’60s, he went and stood in solidarity with the struggle at the Malcolm X funeral.
TH: Knowing how professional athletes are supposed to act in public, how did you feel when you saw what Draymond did?
WD: When I saw the news and saw what Draymond did to his own teammate, I was distressed.
WD: I saw when Draymond came up here to the prison and when he was sitting at the table with the SQ residents playing dominos. I observed the residents idolizing him. So, for him to display an act of violence like that to his teammate, I can imagine how that might have affected someone who looked up to him. He has a big responsibility to uphold in being a good role model. And he should know how to behave as a role model when you’ve got people looking up to you.
TH: Yeah, I was one of those residents who was amazed at how he acclimated himself so comfortably when he was here. I also was inspired that he portrayed that “bad boy” image like he came from the struggles that a lot of us come from in here and represented that bad boy image but doing something with his life and made it out the struggle.
WD: Another thing he should be aware of is the violent element that is going around these days. People are out there killing people for less than that and he doesn’t know how Jordan Poole might be accepting that. Back in my day I remember going to a house party and someone had an altercation and a gun was fired. I was in a panic. I never liked violence then and I don’t like it now.
TH: I agree. Violence is more prevalent these days more than ever. And these professional athletes should be more mindful of their actions because regular people do look to them as examples in life.
WD: Exactly. Just like that coach of the Boston Celtics who got caught cheating with one of his co-workers. African Americans are portrayed in the news for scandals at a higher rate than other races are. So, it is extremely important for the athletes to watch what they do.
TH: Yeah, I would have never cheated on Nia Long. (Laughs) We all have seen Draymond get into scuffles on the court. We all knew that he had an edge on him. That’s just his character. How do you think he should deal with that and do you think that he deserves a second chance?
WD: Even though I didn’t expect that action coming from Draymond and especially towards his own teammates, I still believe that he deserves a second chance. He did something stupid, so he has to figure out how could he get back to that positive side. I think he needs to make a very public show of doing a consistent act of non-violence. And for his anger problem, maybe he should come back up to the prison and take some anger management classes with the residents here. (Laughs).