Oscar Robertson Calls For White Athletes To Take A Stand On Social Issues
on Jun 28, 2018 10:27 AM EDT
Oscar Robertson is glad that popular athletes are taking a stand on social issues, however, the NBA legend believes that they can do more.
Robertson, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NBA Awards Show on Monday, praised athletes for being vocal about today's societal issues. However, the Hall of Famer is convinced that there are still athletes who should let their voices be heard to launch a bigger campaign against injustices in the community.
The 79-year-old basketball icon is pleased that top superstars in the league like LeBron James are using the platform to tackle different social issues. He strongly believes, though, that the white athletes should also participate and speak out, ESPN reported.
Injustices Are Not Just A Black Athlete Problem
Robertson admitted that he is wondering why the white athletes have not been taking an active stand over the past several years. He pointed out that the current issues are not just affecting black athletes because the injustice in the world is all around nowadays.
The 12-time All-Star insisted that gone are the days when players like him are hesitant about fighting for social changes, fearing that it might affect their careers. Robertson encouraged white athletes to join their black counterparts in fighting social abuses.
"Years ago, they didn't say anything because they couldn't say anything," Robertson said. "But now I hope they all, the whites and the blacks get together."
NBA Encourages Players To Speak Out
NBA superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have made a powerful statement about social issues before. James earned a lot of praises for his social activism. There are other athletes who also took a stand but did not get the same response from their league or mother teams.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick launched a social protest two years ago by kneeling while the national anthem is being played. While fans praised Kaepernick for his stand, his protest is viewed as the main reason why the 30-year-old has remained unsigned.
Also, there are NFL teams who are discouraging their players from taking a stand on the issue that is hounding the country. In the NBA, however, players have more room to speak out because commissioner Adam Silver made it clear that the league and the players association are supporting those who want their voices to be heard.
James was criticized by Fox News host Laura Ingraham for his views about racism and his tirades against the White House. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar said that he is unfazed and "will not just shut up and dribble" like what Ingraham wants him to do.
"I think it's important that our fans understand these are multi-dimensional people," Silver said in an NBA TV interview. "They aren't just basketball players. It's not just about dribbling a basketball."