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Russell Westbrook takes the lead, calls for unity in Compton protest

Rockets, Russell Westbrook, Bleacher Report

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook helped lead the protest against racial injustice in Compton, California.

Westbrook, who was born in Long Beach, CA, told protesters “Protect your team. Protect your family. In times like this we need to stick together.” He also asked for a moment of silence.

Westbrook was also joined by San Antonio Spurs star forward DeMar DeRozan, a Compton native.

It hardly comes as a surprise to see Russell Westbrook engaging his community as a surge of activism continues to sweep through the U.S. in the fight against racial inequality.

The Rockets star has routinely been among the most benevolent and charitable figures in the NBA. He established strong communal roots in Oklahoma City, and he has done his part in providing for the Houston area amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The former MVP has also had prior experiences with racist taunts on the floor.

A Utah Jazz fan hurled racially-motivated expletives towards Westbrook during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena last March 2019. The incident sparked some unrest from the players, many of whom expressed the opinion fans had too much freedom to say whatever they wanted during games. The NBA condemned the fan’s statements, and the fan was banned from Jazz games for life.

Unfortunately, this personal instance is just a glimpse into the kind of discrimination African Americans feel on a daily basis.

Players throughout the NBA have taken in part in protests across the country. Aside from the Rockets guard and DeRozan, players such as Jaylen Brown, Trae Young, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to name a few, also joined the protests to fight racism and push for a change in the community.