Former NBA player Stephen Jackson has made plenty of headlines in recent months for saying some pretty outlandish things. For example, he suggested that the 2006-07 Warriors would beat the 2015-16 Warriors in February. He also made an appearance on ESPN following the Nick Young/D’Angelo Russell scandal in March and used the phrase “snitches get stitches” on live TV. And as recently as Monday, he took a shot at Kevin Durant’s defensive performance during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
But Jackson is making headlines for a much different reason right now thanks to a powerful story he told on Instagram on Wednesday. According to him, he was getting a workout in at the gym when he heard an older white man talking about the gorilla that was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo over Memorial Day Weekend. Jackson then heard the man make a very tasteless joke in which he referred to Serena Williams as a gorilla. And when he did, Jackson was quick to step up and confront the man about what he said.
You can listen to Jackson tell the story here:
You can also read a transcript of what he said here:
So I’m just getting out of my workout. I was in the gym, right, and some older white man was talking about the gorilla that got shot at the zoo, right? And I’m just sitting there working out. I’m not paying no attention. And the older white man says, ‘What, they shot Serena? Oh, Serena got shot?’ And started laughing. So should I say something or should I just let that go? Y’all know me better than that! I don’t know Serena. I never met her in my life, but I straight up told old boy, ‘I heard you, and it’s wrong.’ He tried to apologize and say it’s just a joke, but ain’t no joke. Ain’t no joke. Serena don’t look like no gorilla, and none of us do. With that being said, that shit ain’t cool. I had to address it. I’m far from being racist ‘cause I love everybody, but I felt like I had to say something. That shit ain’t cool and that’s what’s wrong with the world today. But you never know who’s listening. Real shit.
Jackson later added that, if he were still the same person that he was during his playing days, he may have reacted much differently to the man at the gym:
Jackson has been criticized for some of the stuff he’s said in the past, but he deserves praise for the way he handled the situation that was put before him on Wednesday.
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to email@example.com.