Ray Allen’s Retirement Mission to Educate on Holocaust
In December, retired multiple-time NBA champion and public enemy number one of Boston Celtics 2008 championship team Ray Allen was honoured by then President of the United States, Barack Obama, being named a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
At the time, Allen stated that his mission was to be “a vehicle for positive change and inclusion of all people.”
This did not all come together suddenly. Since his days at UConn and early beginnings as an NBA rookie with the Milwaukee Bucks, Allen has been advocating for Holocaust education.
Behind me is the notorious gatehouse, labeled by The prisoners as, "The Gate of Death". It is the main entrance into Birkenau, or Auschwitz 2. In 1944, freight trains that were 40-50 cars long rolled thru this gate, day and night, bringing thousands of Hungarian Jews to be gassed at the four Birkenau gas chambers. Over 400,000 of the Hungarian Jews were not registered at Birkenau; instead, they were gassed immediately upon arrival. At the height of the deportation of Hungarian Jews during a 10 week period, up to 12,000 Jews were gassed and burned each day!!!! #neveragain #neverforget #eachoneteachone
A bit over a week ago, Allen made a visit to Poland and began educating upon his arrival in Warsaw where he met with a group of high school kids. The conversation covered everything from the Holocaust all the way to basketball.
“They asked him, ‘What’s the best opportunity you’ve ever had?’” Simon Taylor, the NCSY rabbi who organized the trip recalled. “This trip,” Allen replied.
While in Poland, Allen would visit the former Warsaw Ghetto, the Oskar Schindler factory in Kraków, among many other places on what most definitely was an eye-opening experience.
Jesus Shuttlesworth keeping himself busy for sure!