An open letter to Kevin Durant, who trashed India and Indians after visiting the country.
Dear Kevin Durant,
You don’t know me. And quite frankly, until recently I just knew you as a basketball player in the NBA.
Now I, and many people, know you as the guy who made hateful comments about a country you had the privilege of visiting.
So maybe you need to be educated on a place you deemed ‘rough’ and ‘20 years behind.’
- The Indian subcontinent was home to the Indus Valley civilization which has been around since the 3rd millennium B.C. America became a nation in 1776.
- There are over 1.2 billion people in India. America has just over 324 million.
- India has the most populous democracy in the world.
With your interview in The Athletic, specifically this response below…
Q: First of all, India. You just got back. What was that like?
DURANT: Um, it was a unique experience. I went with no expectation, no view on what it’s supposed to be like. I usually go to places where I at least have a view in my head. India, I’m thinking I’m going to be around palaces and royalty and gold — basically thought I was going to Dubai. Then when I landed there, I saw the culture and how they live and it was rough. It’s a country that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience. You see cows in the street, monkeys running around everywhere, hundreds of people on the side of the road, a million cars and no traffic violations. Just a bunch of underprivileged people there and they want to learn how to play basketball. That s— was really, really dope to me.
You say you thought you were ‘going to Dubai’… perhaps you didn’t Google places to visit your trip, which seems odd, but here are some links to check out. The first is to 5 star hotels in New Delhi. Maybe you missed them among the cows and monkeys.
A search of ‘palaces in Delhi’ instantly reveals the ‘Amer Fort’, ‘Patiala House’, and ‘Pataudi House’. Guess those got lost too. Here are more in case you wanted a list of palaces.
Another part of your answer struck me as odd, you refer to India that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience. Did you know that the zeros in your bank account came from India? That’s right, India created the zero. Here’s a list of 17 other things they created that required knowledge and experience:
“Just a bunch of underprivileged people there and they want to learn how to play basketball. That s— was really, really dope to me.”
This last sentence was pretty presumptuous to me as well. I’m sure if you ask the people in India who are suffering (and there are so many who are not) what they want to do with their life, I’m sure their first answer may not be basketball.
It’s incredibly disappointing that someone in your position and with the influence you have over other people deciding to be careless, uneducated, and uninformed.
Yes, India has work to do when it comes to development, infrastructure, housing, and sanitation that is absolutely true. However, you have over 1 billion people living in a place smaller than the United States, so maybe you didn’t consider how much poverty is magnified?
I challenge you to visit some of the poverty stricken places in America and see if it doesn’t look similar.
America is a great country that is much more developed and certainly enjoys more liberties than many other nations, you can’t argue that. You are someone who enjoys those very privileges as am I.
You were welcomed into a nation with open arms by people who looked up to you and you disrespected them and many of the South Asian diaspora who also look up to you.
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 11, 2017
You’ve apologized and yes that’s always appreciated.
But while you were trashing a place that welcomed you, you missed the rich culture and history that surrounds you in temples, mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, and so much more. Maybe you’ll get a chance to visit Incredible India again and I hope this time you’ll do it with humility, respect, and some more knowledge about India.
Kevin Durant flying to coach top talents at NBA Academy India (July 21, 2017)