January 29, 2023

Donovan Mitchell Discusses Racism he Faced While Playing in Utah: ‘It Was Draining’

Donovan Mitchell Discusses Racism he Faced While Playing in Utah: ‘It Was Draining’

Salt Lake City, Utah is not known for being a racially diverse town. As a Black athlete playing in this city, former Utah Jazz basketball player Donovan Mitchell talks about the “draining” experience he faced often with racism.

In an exclusive interview with Andscape, the current Cleveland Cavaliers player recounts having to interact with the racist mindset and environment in Salt Lake City. After spending his first five seasons in the NBA with the Jazz, he was traded to the Cavaliers in the offseason. Mitchell went from playing in a predominantly White city to a mostly Black one. The change was a welcomed one for the guard as he spoke about the racism he typically encountered while living in the city.

“It’s a little comforting for me, 100%. I’m not going to lie about that. It’s no secret there’s a lot of stuff that I dealt with being in Utah off the floor. If I’m being honest with you, I never really said this, but it was draining. It was just draining on my energy just because you can’t sit in your room and cheer for me and then do all these different things. I’m not saying specifically every fan, but I just feel like it was a lot of things. A [Utah] state senator [Stuart Adams] saying I need to get educated on my own Black history. Seeing Black kids getting bullied because of their skin color. Seeing a little girl [Isabella Tichenor] hang herself because she’s being bullied.

He talks about the racism that people of color face in Utah, even going into detail about being pulled over by a police officer and having to deal with the attitude because of his Black skin. Due to him being a known basketball player for the Jazz, he is afforded the opportunity to get out of situations that an average Black person in Utah would be unable to get away with.

“But as far as Utah, it became a lot to have to deal with on a nightly basis. I got pulled over once. I got an attitude from a cop until I gave him my ID. And that forever made me wonder what happens to the young Black kid in Utah that doesn’t have that power to just be like, ‘This is who I am.’ And that was one of the things for me that I took to heart.”

Mitchell recently returned to Utah on Monday as a Cleveland Cavalier and brought home a victory against his old team when they won the contest 120-99.

Donovan Mitchell Discusses Racism he Faced While Playing in Utah: ‘It Was Draining’

December 22, 2022 2 Minutes 11 Views

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