Kevin Durant sat down with The Undefeated on Friday to talk about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, how he's been holding up after contracting COVID-19 back in March, and what his plans are with the NBA starting back up in July.
Durant talked about what his initial emotions were like after seeing George Floyd's murder, and how it ignited his drive to enact change even more.
"It made me think about all the previous videos we’ve seen involving police brutality," Durant said, recounting the video. "At that point, you get tired of seeing it or wondering if things are going to change or whether we will see this again in the future. Will people’s hearts change? There are just so many questions going through my mind when you see a black man getting slaughtered on TV and on camera like that."
He continued, "It’s damaging to see another life being taken away from us. Someone with a family. Someone who was a father. A son. A friend. It was just horrible to see, especially coming from people who are supposed to be protecting us. We’re really supposed to feel like we are safe all around. It’s a weird time we are in now." Additionally, he wants to see all four of the officers involved in Floyd's death brought to justice. Just as any other citizen would, he said, cops need to be held to the same accountability, otherwise they'll feel that they're at liberty to do what those officers did.
While Durant said that he's never personally dealt with police brutality first-hand, it doesn't take away from his understanding of others' experiences. KD added that despite his status as an NBA superstar, he still isn't exempt from being racially profiled.
"A lot of people feel like when you make it to a certain level financially that you are above everything," he said. "Sometimes we may not be put in that situation as much as other people are. But we still understand. And to be honest, it might just be different."
Later when asked how he was feeling after testing positive for coronavirus back in March, Durant said that he doesn't have any more symptoms and "feels good." He expressed that he was more curious than scared about the virus when he had it. In one of the more surprising turns of the interview, he also revealed that he will not be returning for the continuation of the 2019-2020 NBA season.
"My season is over," Durant said. "I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."
Durant still wants to play, but knows that it would be smarter for him to wait as he prepares for next season. "It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career."
The NBA season is set to resume on July 31.