Wizards’ John Wall reflects on the relationship between athletes and citizens in a time of crisis
Washington Wizards guard John Wall offered his perspective on the current state of racial inequality in America amid continued nationwide protests. He specifically expressed the importance of athletes to use their prominent platforms to call for change.
“We have a platform outside of this (sports) world,” Wall told The Athletic’s David Aldridge Thursday on the Hoops, Adjacent podcast. “We’re heroes to a lot of people; at the end of the day, we’re still regular people… We still wake up every day and have to do normal things and go through normal problems everybody else goes through. We have feelings just like they do.”
Despite his $180 million contract and all the perks that come with being a star basketball player, Wall shares the same fears of police that so many black people continue to face every day.
“If I get pulled over right now, I’m terrified,” John Wall added. “To be realistic. If I’m in a dark area, or a back street, I’m not stopping. I’ll go to a high-speed chase to get to a spot where it’s a grocery store, or somewhere where’s there’s a lot of lights at, because that’s how terrifying it is.”
The Wizards players released a powerful statement of solidarity earlier this week, pledging to “NO LONGER TOLERATE THE ASSASSINATION OF PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THIS COUNTRY.”
A united statement from our players. pic.twitter.com/SGKSDw76zU
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 1, 2020
John Wall launched his “202 Assist” initiative last month to help families in need in the Ward 8 area of Southeast D.C. during this time of crisis. According to Wall, the program has raised over $170,000 so far.
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