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Acy applauds Martin Luther King’s legacy

The Nets' Quincy Acy drives past the Celtics'

The Nets' Quincy Acy drives past the Celtics' Terry Rozier during the second quarter in Boston on Dec. 31, 2017. Credit: AP / Michael Dwyer

On Monday morning, before the Nets faced the Knicks in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee at Barclays Center, Nets forward Quincy Acy posted a message on Twitter thanking Dr. King and quoting him saying, “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives within us.” Acy also posted another King quote on Instagram that addressed a “poverty of spirit” and lamented, “We haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.”

Acy’s social media posts often are expressions of his deep religious faith, but his MLK Day post underlined the social significance of that holiday in the NBA, which promotes it heavily, and particularly its importance to players from the African-American community.

“It’s a very special day and it’s definitely an honor to play on this day,” Acy said before the game. “You’ve got to give him all the credit as to where we are in the world right now. He was all about spreading love and equality, and I think that’s the main message that needs to be sent. Just treat everybody the way you want to be treated, and that will solve a lot of issues in the world. He lost his life to try to spread that message.”

At a time when critics of President Donald Trump are charging him with racism in the wake of a recent vulgar remark he reportedly made regarding Haiti and some African countries and how immigrants from those countries ought to be treated, the NBA’s MLK Day festivities took place in the context of heightened sensitivity regarding race relations. Before the game, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson spoke to the crowd urging people to spread “love, unity and equality.”

Asked about the significance of the occasion in the current political climate, Acy said, “We can only hope for the best in people. I don’t judge another person because I’m not the one to judge. He who is without sin, cast the first stone. I don’t pass judgment. I just pray and hope that everybody believes that equality is the answer and that treating people with respect and love is the right way to go about things.”

Acy also credited the NBA not only for promoting MLK Day but for other socially oriented initiatives year-round. “They’re really good at shining a light on all the positives in the world,” Acy said.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson echoed those sentiments. “I love what the NBA does,” he said. “It’s a tradition in my household that you watch games on MLK Day and you think about Martin Luther King and the important part he played in our history. It’s a special day in the NBA and a special day in America.”

New York Sports