It seems that basketball may be more important than doing the right thing if you're Spike Lee.
Celebrated director Spike Lee hyped last night's massive Million Hoodie March in New York City all day on Wednesday, only to skip it to watch the Knicks play in Philadelphia.
Spike sent out a series of texts on Wednesday about the need for everyone to come out to the Union Square rally, which was held to protest the handling of the Feb. 26 shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the streets of his father's Florida neighborhood.
And he even tweeted a picture of himself beaming at the game alongside actor Will Smith. The photo appears to have since been deleted from his Twitter profile (see the first photo attached to this article.) A Tyson Chandler fan group also tweeted a photo of the two shaking hands on the sidelines last night while the protest was underway (see the second photo attached to this article.)
The Million Hoodie March began at 6 p.m. Wednesday night, and ran until about 9 p.m. The Knicks game started at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and ended at about 9:30. Lee was shown on live TV celebrating on the sidelines after a Knicks basket shortly after 9 p.m.
He also took to Twitter to respond to Twitter user Ezra E. Fitz, who inquired about the lack of sensitivity he showed by deciding to skip the rally and don a Jeremy Lin jersey and take in some b-ball:
Fitz tweeted the following comment at Spike shortly before midnight Wednesday: @SpikeLee Are you more concerned about the Knicks, or about the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman situation? to which Spike Lee responded: Don't Even START YO.
Fitz followed that up by asking Lee the following: As a fan, I have to wonder, what would Mookie do right now? Mookie is the character Spike Lee played in his 1989 film Do the Right Thing, which deals with issues of race and violence in Brooklyn, N.Y. Spike did not post a response to the tweet.
But his decision not to attend the rally was quite odd at best, seeing as he sent numerous tweets on Wednesday urging people to wear hoodies and attend the protest.
On Wednesday morning he retweeted a flier advertising the Million Hoodie March along with this message: Come support the movement..# TreyvonMartin, as well as this message: Sadly, the GOP gives no s--- about black teens unless they've got a ball in their hand. NATIONWIDE HOODIE MARCH.USA.
Earlier that morning he generated a lot of buzz about the rally with this post: Someone Please Tweet Info On Hoodie March In NY Today In Support For Our Slain Brother Trayvon, which was heavily retweeted throughout the day.
Trayvon Martin has become a flashpoint in America ever since his killing last month. A 28-year-old, self-appointed, Hispanic neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman admits he shot the teen, but he hasn't been arrested because Florida gun laws are especially lax.
The failure to prosecute him so far (though the U.S. Justice Department has announced a federal inquiry into the case), combined with the fact that he killed Martin despite the fact that the youth was carrying no weapons and appeared to have been minding his own business before he was approached by Zimmeran on a street near his father's home, have angered many people.
And that outrage was turned into nonviolent protest on Wednesday, when thousands of people descended upon Union Square to show support for Martin's family and others who want to see justice served in the case.
After listening to speeches by Martin's mother and attorney, several polticicans and other leading figures, many attendees of the protest marched to Times Square, where the protest continued.
Supporters who aren't in New York City can get show their solidarity with the movement by uploading a picture of themselves wearing a hoodie, accompanied by the hashtag #millionhoodies, to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
They can also sign the change.org petition created by Martin's parents to implore prosecutors to bring a case against Zimmerman. The petition has more than a million signatures.