Meet Westin Wood & Friends. If you know the history of lynching & racial violence in Oklahoma you know this is UGLY. pic.twitter.com/rgnHoSGevf— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 5, 2016
Fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder were not happy with Kevin Durant’s decision on Monday to sign with the Golden State Warriors after a decade with the Thunder; many Oklahoma City residents burned their Durant jerseys to protest his choice.
Some fans, however, took this to an utterly despicable level—Westin Wood of Tulsa, Oklahoma posted a video of he and his friends essentially pretending to lynch a Durant jersey.
In the video Wood posted on Twitter, he pours gasoline over the jersey, then joins his friends as they fire relentlessly into the jersey with assault rifles and set it on fire.
According to Shaun King of the New York Daily News, when specifically examining Oklahoma’s history with racial violence and lynchings, “This appears to be a familiar assertion of white supremacist power, anger and violence. Hundreds and hundreds of the 4,075 documented cases of African-Americans being lynched in America included them being set on fire and shot in a manner very similar to this video.”
King added on Twitter, “If you know the history of lynching & racial violence in Oklahoma you know this is UGLY.”
Many Oklahoma City loyalists argued that this was simply an instance of fans releasing their anger, akin to the burning of jerseys when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat in 2010, but the racist connotations are unmistakable.
Wood has since deleted the video, likely due to backlash, but there are undoubtedly numerous similar incidents that have occurred since Durant’s announcement, demonstrating the long way America has to go in regards to race relations.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters