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He was celebrating his team's best season ever. That's when he ran into the NYPD and broke his leg.

Thabo Sefolosha was getting ready for the NBA playoffs when his season came to an abrupt end.

In the early hours of April 8, 2015, one of the best basketball teams in the NBA lost a crucial player to a very unexpected injury.

Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha was celebrating with friends after his team's 96-69 thrashing of the Phoenix Suns when he allegedly suffered a fractured leg after being put in a headlock and thrown to the ground by police outside of a New York City nightclub.

Police claimed that Sefolosha had interfered with efforts to set up a crime scene in the area near where another NBA player had been stabbed.


Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

Sefolosha's leg injury required surgery, which put an end to his season.

Days later, he released a statement confirming he had sustained injuries from police during his arrest.

The initial reports put out by police claimed that Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were asked "six times" to leave the scene of a crime.

One officer claimed that he "observed the defendant Thabo Sefolosha run in an aggressive manner towards the direction of Police Officer Daniel Dongvort," and "Officer Dongvort's back was facing the defendant at the time."

Meanwhile, video and eyewitness reports didn't match what police said:

The real question here is: Had the police not forcibly subdued Sefolosha, would he have been injured at all?

Without Sefolosha, the Hawks eventually lost in the playoffs to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bizarrely, Sefolosha's police-induced injury was barely mentioned in media coverage.

Remember, this is the world of sports, where people obsess over whether or not Tom Brady rubbed his (foot)balls too hard or whether or not LeBron James has a sore wrist. So, why wouldn't news of a player missing the entire postseason allegedly as the result of an interaction with the police be a part of the conversation?

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.

That's what The Nation's Dave Zirin wanted to know: Why doesn't the sports media seem to care?

In an article titled, "An NBA Player Is Missing the Playoffs Because the NYPD Broke His Leg — Why the Sports-Media Silence?" Zirin explores the question, concluding that one of the main reasons we haven't heard about this is because journalists self-censor (emphasis mine):

"The more I spoke to people, the clearer it was that this story has not garnered more coverage because of how the media police themselves. One person at Yahoo Sports said to me, 'We censor ourselves. We're risk-averse. White columnists feel like they'd get the story wrong, and black columnists don't want the responsibility and risk of having to be the ones to write about it. We end up in a state of paralysis.'"


And while it's certainly possible the Hawks would have lost to the Cavaliers even with Sefolosha playing, it's worth remembering why he wasn't there.

Police violence — especially the kind aimed at young black men — has been (and should be) a major story. And while Sefolosha wasn't shot like Mike Brown and wasn't choked to death like Eric Garner, his story follows the same, all-too-familiar narrative of an unarmed black man being attacked by police officers.


While this particular story is about a player missing some games, not about a person being murdered by police, it's still worth asking why we haven't heard more about it.

Because if a story involving a professional athlete can fly under the radar like this, just imagine how many other, lower-profile cases we haven't heard about.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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