94WIP – Stephania Ergemlidze is using basketball to bring people together in Philadelphia and it’s working.
On Tuesday, Stephania brought a portable basketball around the city. The result? Everyone began playing, cops and protestors, black and white.
“The main goal was to get the police and protestors working together and playing together which I am happy to say we saw glimpses of today!” she wrote on her “Balling For Justice” GoFundMe Page. “I don’t know if what I’m doing is the answer, but I’m hoping it can at least do some kind of good for my brothers and sisters of the POC community as well as the philly community as a whole.”
Stephania is hoping to spread the basketball movement to other cities, like Baltimore.
“I would like to continue to spread this message outside of philly as well,” she wrote. “Was hoping to ask you all for help in funding our travels to other cities. With $2000 we could easily rent an suv and head down to DC, Baltimore, and Newark staying in each city one day/night. And any leftover money, we would donate to other BLM causes.”
Stephania Ergemlidze is a YouTube basketballer and she posted a lengthy video of the experience here:
Initially her campaign was credited to another guy at the protests when the photos and video captured by reporter Nina Feldman blew up in a big way:
Khalil Gardner is a part of a group dragging a basketball hoop around center city trying to get people to play to break the tension. pic.twitter.com/EA4Cwazpne
— Nina Feldman (@ncannellf) June 2, 2020
It’s hard to not focus on some of the uncomfortable conversations we as a DFS, betting and sports community need to have to support Black people in their quest for basic protection against racism and brutality. But it’s also just nice to see people out there having a good time out there playing a game that a lot of us love.
And it’s nice to see cops and protestors working it out on the court. Nothing gets the blood flowing like some one-on-one. But I have to question this one dude keeping his backpack on as it went down, especially after he turned the ball over during his crossover attempt:
He’s got great measurables with that height and wing span but even two pounds swinging around on your back is a big time competition disadvantage. Though I guess the cop also has a gun on his Batman-style utility belt so maybe the backpack weighs the protestor down enough to make things equal? I’m sure there’s some sort of very pertinent metaphor in there to unpack from your feel-good video.
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