Maywood Native Doc Rivers Calls Anthem Protests ‘Patriotic,’ Reflects on Proviso East’s Race Riots

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Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers with retiring NBA star Kevin Garnett. | NBAE/Getty Images

Sunday, September 25, 2016 || By LOCAL NEWS CURATOR || @maywoodnews

Maywood native and Proviso East Pirate Doc Rivers has recently lent his voice to the wave of National Anthem protests touched off by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The Orange County Register’s Dan Woike reported recently that Rivers recalled Maywood’s own fraught racial history while considering this generation’s protests.

Before observing that a ” black-and-white picture of Doc’s father, Grady, in his Maywood (Ill.) Police uniform sits inches in front of a San Francisco 49er helmet,” Woike writes that Rivers “is ready to draw on his past to help guide his team.”

“In addition to sharing a roof with a police officer, Rivers also got to see the messiness racial injustice can cause as riots ripped through the high school a few blocks away from his home.

“During the 1967-68 school year, Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill., was a flash point for racial tension, with state troopers and local police being called upon to deal with the violence.”

Rivers, who was six at the time, watched that bit of history from his front porch. He saw white and black Proviso East students walking in groups dictated by the color of their skin. Bottles and expletives were hurled across the divide.

“Listen, we need social change. If anyone wants to deny that, they just need to study the history of our country,” Rivers told the Southern California News Group on Sept. 23, adding a point he said he’s mentioned a hundred times.

“There’s no more American thing to do than to protest,” Rivers said. “It’s the most patriotic thing we can do. There are protests I like and protests I don’t like. It doesn’t matter. …Protests are meant to start conversation. The conversation, you hope, leads to acknowledgement, and the acknowledgement leads to action. We’re, right now, still in the conversation.” VFP

To read the full Orange County Register article, click here

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