HBO’s long-running program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel takes a hard look at racial injustice in the time of COVID-19 in this week’s episode, exploring how both the ongoing protests and the pandemic are influencing the world of sports. Real Sports latest installment, described by HBO as one of the most ambitious shows in franchise history, features interviews with 35 guests from the world of sports, academics, and activism who share their views on racism in the United States. All interviews were conducted remotely by Gumbel over a two-day period last week.
Following a montage of news coverage depicting protests spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Killer Mike, an avowed cannabis advocate and one-half of hip-hop phenom Run the Jewels, says that this instance of police brutality has struck a chord with the nation unlike any before.
“What we saw and the reason Mr. Floyd’s death sparked such an issue and such uprising is because it was a public execution,” Killer Mike exclaims. “It was not an accidental death. It was an arrogant and evil public execution. It was one of the most evil acts I’ve ever seen, and it makes me disgusted and want to throw up to think about it.”
Pandemic Frames Public Reaction To Injustice
On top of the callous disregard for human life exhibited in the Floyd video, the pandemic and resulting business closures and stay-at-home orders have given the issues of police brutality and systemic racism a captive audience. The added attention has given many people the feeling that perhaps things will be different this time around and change will actually happen.