Top 5 NBA Players who Refuse to Stay Silent, Continue Fight for Change
The topic of social reform has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind for nearly a month now since the tragic murder of George Floyd.
Protests have been ongoing as NBA players have continued to join the masses to fight against racism and police brutality. The people have been loud and millions have continued to urge the nation’s leaders to create the change that is necessary. Through donations and speaking out on social media, our voices are starting to get heard.
In the NBA this fight for social reform has been ongoing for decades now as a number of players have chosen to use their platforms to be activists on the matter. These are true leaders and we have compiled a list of the top five NBA players who refused to remain silent!
5. Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose may not be the player that the others on this list happen to be, but there is no disputing the work that Rose has put in, particularly in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Back in 2000, Rose established his Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund to create opportunities for youth development which he followed up by opening the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in 2011. The academy is an open enrolment, tuition-free institution which serves to provide underprivileged youth with a place where they can learn and succeed. Rose serves as the academy’s President of the Board of Directors.
Lauded for his leadership and continuous work to empower the African-American community, Rose deserves to be recognized for his great efforts.
4. Oscar Robertson
As the third president of the NBPA, Oscar Robertson dealt with a plethora of challenges in the 1960’s.
One of the greatest players of all time, The Big O was also forced to combat the pressing issues of integration, civil rights, and fair pay. Despite constant death threats from the Klu Klux Klan during his playing days and constant media attention, Robertson continued to play and continued to speak out.
“If black people don’t think about it, who is going to say anything about it?”
3. Bill Russell
To this day, the ultimate Boston Celtics champion continues to fight for black lives.
An 11-Time NBA champion, Russell was a winner off the court as an extraordinary activist. He had the opportunity to speak in the Oval Office during the presidency of President Eisenhower, he has continued to fight against racism, police brutality, bigotry, poverty, and exploitation for well over 60-years. He is truly a pioneer and one of the most revered names in NBA history.
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The NBA’s all-time points leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was also one of the most prominent African-American figures in the fight against racism during the 1970’s and 80’s. Diving head first into political water, Abdul-Jabbar associated himself with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and since his playing days has continued to fight for African-American rights.
“I don’t have any delusions that I’m shining a bright light through the political and social jungle to guide our way, but I do hope that I’m adding some value to the national discussion and maybe helping people understand the causes of our polarity and how we might make things a little better,” Abdul-Jabbar said back in 2016.
1. LeBron James
Quite possibly the greatest of all time, LeBron James was under a microscope since he first stepped into the NBA spotlight after starring at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
Nearly two decades later, not only has James surpassed all sorts of expectations, he has continued to be the voice of change, an NBA leader both on and off the court. As incredible as James’ basketball career has been, the work he has done off the court may be his greatest accomplishment. From starting his “I Promise” school, to not showing any fear for speaking out on social reform, to always being first to respond and to call out racism.
James uses his platform to educate and to speak out for those who’s voices are too silent to be heard.