LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The fight for racial justice continues, but not without some controversy.
In the wake of another police shooting in Wisconsin, protests across the nation are now underway — and even professional athletes, including the Vegas Golden Knights, are taking a stand.
From Kenosha, Wisconsin to Las Vegas, Nevada — calls for racial justice continue after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“People aren’t happy and they want their voices heard,” said Yvette Williams, the Chair of the Clark County Black Caucus.
In addition to protests, major sports teams have stepped up by postponing games to stand in solidarity with the movement. That includes the Vegas Golden Knights.
“When you start to see professional sports getting involved at this level, then you’ll start to see change,” Williams said, adding that there now needs to be even more activism from them. “That these professional sports teams take a more active role in what’s going on in the community, as it relates to social justice issues.”
But this has also stirred up some controversy. Steve Grammas, the President of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA), sent a letter to the Golden Knights this week, expressing disappointment in the team and its stance. But in a new letter obtained by 8 News NOW, Grammas tells union members that he was contacted by Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. The letter says they “had a very good phone conversation about the issues raised in the letter as well as some dialogue on how we move forward.” Grammas also added that the will “make sure we can always communicate in a positive manner when issues arise.”
Eric Jimenez, the Chair of Nevada’s Office of Minority Health and Equity supports the demonstrations as well as the Golden Knights’ actions. The Office of Minority Health and Equity was created a while ago, but it traditionally focused only on healthcare needs of communities of color. Now, there is more of a focus on racial equality. Jimenez says his goal is to turn the passion of the recent protests into policy.
“We are making some significant progress on a bill draft for the upcoming legislative session that will require a diversity and inclusion officer at every state agency,” Jimenez said.
And activists with the Clark County Black Caucus say that is just the start.
“We expect to see major, major changes,” Williams said.