Warriors Forward, World Traveler David West Speaks His Mind on the Death of Stephon Clark - NBC Bay Area

Warriors Forward, World Traveler David West Speaks His Mind on the Death of Stephon Clark



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    Warriors forward, world traveler David West speaks his mind on the death of Stephon Clark

    SACRAMENTO -- David West travels the world, is personally involved in pursuing clean energy on a global level, studies the great philosophers as well as modern geopolitics.

    In short, he has a wealth of knowledge about the planet beyond basketball.

    And the veteran Warriors big man sees the killing of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police as not only a civic tragedy but also the kind of action that, more and more, distances the United States from the more harmonious nations.

    "This country is shooting itself in the foot in terms of being able to have influence and respect around the world," West said Saturday. "Because as long as you continue to deny justice to citizens, people who live in this country, there's no way other nations will ever believe that you're going to bring justice and freedom and liberty to them.

    "And that's something that is obviously evident in the direction the world is moving. Other countries have their best and brightest in positions of power and political leadership and positions to make changes. When I say ‘best and brightest' I mean, in other nations you have their most intelligent, best-trained people in positions of power. And that's simply not the case here."

    West is a graduate of Xavier University, a smallish (less than 7,000 enrolled) 187-year-old Jesuit school in Cincinnati. He's 37, in his 15th NBA season and unafraid to speak up when compelled.

    He is, like many others between America's shores, battling to maintain hope. The Clark tragedy is the latest in a spate of incidents in which death of a citizen is the outcome of confrontations between police and people of color.

    It's a trend that, in West's mind, began nearly four years ago with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

    "It's something that...seems like it's not going to stop," he said with a deep sigh. "None of the solutions that have been put on the table have been effective. So we're back to square one.

    "We're having the same conversations, the same sort of dialogue back and forth. Folks are marching and protesting or whatever, but things aren't changing. Things aren't improving. I don't know if there's a lot to be optimistic or hopeful about, in terms of general outlook."

    West did not attend a rally Saturday, in downtown Sacramento, designed to show support for the Clark family and the community in which he lived. He spoke after the morning shootaround, a little more than six hours before the game was scheduled to tip off.

    West's research has shown him that America is losing influence around the world, as connections with numerous countries have gone chilly under the administration of President Donald Trump.

    With each passing day, with each clear case of injustice, it only gets worse.

    "As long as this country continues to deny justice to people, its own citizens," West said, "people have to understand the type of impact that it's having globally on this nation's ability to be in a position of leadership. Which is no longer the case."