Alex Caruso was a pleasant surprise during the 2019-20 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers as the undrafted point guard earned a rotation role under head coach Frank Vogel. His energy and defensive skill off the bench was a boon for a veteran-laden team.
Like the rest of his peers, Caruso has been home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, working out and doing his best to stay in shape for when the regular season returns. While that presented a challenge for the country, it’s now taken a back seat to civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Caruso are among those who have addressed the tragedy and subsequent events unfolding in Minnesota. During an appearance on “The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis,” Caruso explained why he feels a responsibility to be a voice for those who are unheard or victimized:
“I was blessed and fortunate to grow up with that word that everybody talks about, with the ‘privilege.’ But more importantly, with parents that raised me the right way, that raised me that everybody is created equal and you should treat everybody how you want to be treated. I have so many friends within the African-American community from playing basketball, from when I was a little kid to now, and relationships that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t live by that motive.
“For me, it’s mind-blowing, it’s baffling that people can have this much hatred and this much evil inside of them. So anything I can do to just be a voice, be a pillar, be a tool for anybody, that’s kind of what I want to do. There’s so many people that I love and cherish, that I wouldn’t have relationships with if I wasn’t raised the right way. I think it’s something that’s important to me.”
The death of Floyd in Minneapolis sparked outrage across the nation as it was another incident of unjust police brutality. Numerous prominent figures in the NBA community expressed their thoughts and feelings regarding the situation, urging everyone for action and reform to prevent these types of killings from happening.
For Caruso, he is in a unique position to use his platform for good due to his status as a Laker but also as a white basketball player playing in an African-American dominant league. Professional athletes have the gift to be able to catch the attention of larger audiences, so for Caruso to lend his support is a noticeable gesture.
However, Floyd’s murder is just another reminder that there are bigger things than basketball and the country as a whole needs to really listen and pay attention to what is happening.