Tag: Cliff Robinson

Help Cliff Robinson’s Family Raise Funds to Combat Cancer

Cancer eventually touches all of our lives. No matter where you live, or how much money you make, the disease will unfortunately impact someone you love. Unfortunately, cannabis medicines that could prove to be helpful, have been stifled by the Drug War and burdensome bureaucratic hurdles that stifle research in the United States. Tragically, the cannabis and professional basketball communities lost the great Clifford Robinson to cancer this week.

Robinson, known affectionately as Uncle Cliffy, played in the NBA for 18 seasons, his best years with the Portland Trailblazers. During his 8 years with the Blazers, he played in two NBA championship series, was voted the league’s best sixth man, and made an all-star team. If a player has better career statistics than Cliff, it is very likely that they are either in the Hall of Fame, or are on the way to the Hall of Fame.

After his illustrious playing career, Uncle Cliffy transitioned to Uncle Spliffy, creating a cannabis brand and advocating for legalization. Robinson made it his mission to utilize his name to help transform cannabis testing policies in the NBA and other sports leagues and to shatter “lazy stoner” stereotypes. On those fronts, Cliff, along with other former athletes like former NFL Pro-Bowl lineman Eugene Robinson and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, helped usher in some major successful reforms. As I told Celebstoner, health issues seemed to derail the launch of various Uncle Spliffy business projects time and time again.

A victim of our racist War on Cannabis, it was good to see Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler apologize to Cliff for a violent SWAT-like arrest that he endured over a personal amount of cannabis back in 1997. I was fortunate to become friendly with Cliff over the last couple of years. His smile lit up the room and his last text to me was to let me know that he was in the hospital.

We can continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Cliff Robinson, and help cancer patients by donating to his family’s fundraising page through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:

We walk for Clifford! 

Clifford Robinson lost his year and a half long battle to Lymphoma August 29, 2020.  He was diagnosed with Diffuse large B cell lymphoma in march of 2019.    Clifford played 18 years in the NBA currently ranking 54th on the all-time scoring list.   He started his professional career with the Portland Trailblazers where he affectionately became known as “Uncle Cliffy”    Clifford was passionate about giving back.  He supported many different charitable organizations using his notoriety to raise awareness and money for causes dear to his heart. Clifford’s vast circle of family and friends stretched coast to coast.  His warm and infectious energy made you feel very special. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.  Please join us in his honor to raise funds to fight cancer. 

Please donate if you are able and spread the word.

Portland Owes Trail Blazers Great Cliff Robinson an Apology for His Cannabis Arrest

Clifford Robinson had a great 18-year NBA career that included an All-Star appearance, a Sixth Man of the Year Award, and two second-team All-Defensive honors. In many ways, the 7-1 forward/center was ahead of his time and his style would be perfect for today’s NBA that features many more outside shooting big men that can run the floor effectively and play defense. The Oregonian named Cliff the 9th best Trail Blazer of all-time and if anyone has better stats than him, they are in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, where “Uncle Cliffy” belongs. In our championship-obsessed culture, I sincerely believe that Robinson would be in the Hall of Fame if the 1990s Trail Blazers would have won an NBA title, instead of finishing second to the “Bad Boys” Pistons and the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in 1990 & 1992.

After his fantastic NBA career, Cliff Robinson has become an outspoken proponent of ending cannabis prohibition, a racist policy that has had too many harmful consequences for our society, disproportionately for people of color. Unfortunately, Robinson’s playing days were unnecessarily interrupted due to illogical cannabis laws and, most distressingly, he was the victim of a SWAT raid by the Portland police, a traumatic encounter for which he deserves an apology.

KPTV reported on the fact that Robinson’s social media manager, Chris Young, started a petition urging the City of Portland to apologize to the Trail Blazers great:

Police blocked his car and several officers surrounded him. They found marijuana inside and that sparked a national news story at the time.

Young believes it was a case of racial profiling, and even though it happened long ago, he says Robinson deserves an apology.

“As days turn into weeks and weeks turn to months and months to years, or Cliff’s case, decades, unfortunately people forget about it. But the person it happened to doesn’t forget about it. People bring it up and and say it was a long time ago and you need to get over it and move on, but the person it happens to doesn’t move on. It’s traumatic and stays with them for their life. Whether it happened last Tuesday or 20 years ago, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Young said.

NBC Sports has also covered the petition:

Robinson was worried the incident would put unwarranted controversy on himself heading into free agency and negatively affect the perception of the Trail Blazers, who were teetering on the Jail Blazers days, over what Robinson viewed as extreme abuse of public resources and blatant racial profiling.

“This perception of our team is that we have a bunch of guys who are shady individuals,″ Robinson said at the press conference in 1997. “I don’t do anything but try my best to represent myself, represent the Trail Blazers and represent Portland on and off the court as best as I can.″

The former Trail Blazer would leave Portland for Phoenix that offseason. 

In full disclosure, I’m friends with social media manager Chris Young and have had the pleasure to hang out with Cliff Robinson a few times, although it would be presumptuous of me to say that he’s a friend. I can say that the man can sing and if you get the chance to karaoke with him, you should. Regardless of my personal relationships with those involved, I believe that all nonviolent cannabis users deserve an apology for their arrests.

It’s time that the United States make amends for its racist past and attoning for cannabis prohibition is an important part of addressing systemic racism. Black Lives Matter and SWAT raids like those that Cliff Robinson survived unnecessarily put Black lives in danger. Portland, Oregon, AKA Rip City needs to apologize.

The Change.org Petition in full:

Demand That The City Of Portland Apologize To Cliff Robinson For Racial Profiling Incident

In the summer of 1997 Portland Trail Blazer Clifford Robinson, his brothers, and friends were the subject of blatant racial profiling by Portland (Oregon) police. Robinson was seen entering his vehicle with paintball guns, the cops were called by someone that reported that Robinson and his party had assault rifles, and a public safety alert was broadcast on local and national media.

Robinson’s vehicle, along with its occupants, was subjected to a paramilitary-style blockade near the Portland waterfront, which was widely publicized. Heavily armed Portland police did not find assault rifles in Robinson’s vehicle for obvious reasons (there weren’t any), however, they did locate remnants of cannabis in the vehicle. Despite the cannabis being outside of the reach of where Robinson was located in the vehicle (driver seat), Robinson was charged with possession of cannabis, presumably because of his celebrity status.

That cannabis charge was widely covered by national media instead of the extreme abuse of public resources and blatant racial profiling that Robinson and his party had to endure.

This blatant racial profiling incident has since gone unaddressed. That is unacceptable. Please sign this petition to demand that the City of Portland apologize for this incident. A public apology will never fix the past, however, it can at least clear the record and make it widely known that what happened to Robinson and his party in 1997 was shameful. The City of Portland can never fully move forward if it cannot acknowledge the harms that it created in the past. Thank you for signing this petition and sharing it with everyone that you know.

More information regarding the racial profiling incident described in this petition can be found here: https://apnews.com/f7eb349befd2dc8e9a78f99950ada42d