Rex Chapman was a fun player in the NBA, an energetic shooting guard who could knock down threes or find teammates for open looks, while also snagging some rebounds and collecting his share of steals — a little bit of everything.
On Twitter, Chapman’s penchant for posting funny videos of collisions that he captions “Block or charge?” has become so much his brand that he’s even got a T-shirt. But lately, the 52-year-old former University of Kentucky star has been showing the same kind of versatility online that he used to display on the court.
Chapman, who earlier this spring started raising money for COVID-19 relief, wrote a stirring op-ed last week for the Lexington Herald-Leader on race and what he’s observed in Kentucky and America since he was a teenager.
It was one of those experiences that Chapman led with in an interview he did on MSNBC, a segment that also was notable for the way he described his experience with opioid addiction, and exactly why he has no time for his state’s senior Senator, one Mitch McConnell.
While Chapman’s tweets have grown more varied, including some quality “Karen” content that furthers his observations on race, it was McConnell for whom he really brought the thunder in the past couple of days.
By now, if you’ve been online enough, you’ve seen the picture of a smiling McConnell in front of the Confederate battle flag. But you wouldn’t have known the story that Chapman told in one tweet on Wednesday that he paired, appropriately, with that vintage shot.
“I was a 16-yro HS JR in 1985 when a newly elected Kentucky senator flew in a helicopter to our school football field (Owensboro, Ky),” Chapman wrote. “We were made to ‘welcome’ hm on the field. He exited the helicopter w a confederate bumper sticker on his briefcase.
“I left & got a ‘detention.’”
While Kentucky was a slave state, it never did join the Confederacy, so exactly why a senator from the Bluegrass State has such an attachment to the Stars and Bars is… well, it’s not curious, because you know exactly why McConnell would have it as a sticker on his briefcase, and pose in front of it.
But it’s not just racism and embracing racists that makes McConnell a villain (it certainly does do that — it’s just that there’s more). Chapman is hammering McConnell for the other issue that’s crucial to him, the addiction that he survived.
“We’re barely surviving you, homes,” Chapman tweeted Thursday, linking to a McConnell post. “In just 8 years, you allowed over 2 billion pills to be flooded into Kentucky from just three companies as opioid-related deaths spiked across the state. You’ve taken over $1m from Big Pharma since 2007 and $400K from them THIS YEAR.”
Chapman clearly has been doing his research, as McConnell’s actions as Senate majority leader have been exactly what Big Pharma wants. And even with some recent progress through state-level programs, Kentucky is one of the hardest-hit states by the opioid crisis.
So, yes, all these years later, Chapman can still dunk on fools. And it’s just as satisfying as ever.