Events at a racist rally in Charlottesville, VA made national headlines this week after significant violence broke out and one woman, Heather Heyer, was killed after a car ran her over. The “Unite the Right” rally and subsequent coverage illustrated the continued rise of the alt-right and neo-Nazism in America, and the NBA has not turned a blind eye to the news. Stars like LeBron James have spoken out about the need to join together and find individual responsibility on a daily basis for bettering our world.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is one of the NBA players that have also taken to public discourse on the subject. During an anti-racism rally in Salt Lake City on Monday, Parker spoke to the crowd about his own struggles and diverse background.
Parker said he would be doing a disservice to his own people if he didn’t come to the rally to support their cause.
In part, here’s what Parker had to say, via the Salt Lake Tribune:
“Good evening, everybody. I know a lot of you guys already know me, but I play in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I just want to give you guys a brief background on me. My mom, she’s from Tonga. My dad is [inaudible]. My best friend is Jewish. My uncle is gay. I could go on and on. I came from welfare, government cheese.
“I would be doing a disservice for my people if I didn’t come here today. So I’m here to speak for diversity. I’m diverse. It’s in my DNA. I love my culture. I love you.
It’s great to see more NBA players step out like this and support against the rise of mobilized political racism, white supremacy, and anti-American neo-Nazism. Big kudos to Parker, hopefully his example will help lead the way for his contemporaries.