On the court, Norman Powell is a valuable scoring wing player that can go up against the best of them. Off the court, however, he's just another guy that is prone to the same encounters as the rest of us.
Recently, the L.A. swingman went viral after posting his encounter with a woman at a gym, who harassed him and called herself a slave:
We don't yet know the full story or even how the altercation began, but it's clear they were going back and forth for a while and likely only stopped until the police came to straighten things out.
Sadly, this sort of incident isn't rare in the United States today. People with a divisionist or even flat-out racist mindset have become emboldened over the years and it has led to a flurry of cases like this flooding the internet.
Even within the NBA community itself, racism exists:
"Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans," said Jeremy Lin in an emotional Faceboook post last year. "We are tired of being told that we don't experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble. We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they're REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we're inherently unattractive. We are tired of the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren't as real...
Being an Asian American doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism.
Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called "coronavirus" on the court."
This is just the reality of the world we live in today. Whenever a person of color goes out, there's always a chance that they will be judged based on the color of their skin, the music that they play, or even the traditions that they hold.
Norman Powell found out the hard way, but it seems he's not letting it get to his head. The best thing he can do is publicize the hate and call it out for what it is.