The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created an unsettling time for the globe it essentially shut down businesses and caused widespread panic and fear. Although countries and cities around the world have slowly begun to reopen, the risk of infection is still high and people are being urged to continue practicing proper health protocols and social distancing.
Although the health crisis is a prevalent problem, the United States is in the midst of a monumental social movement after the unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked public outrage and countless people across the nation have since begun peacefully protesting and advocating for social justice and racial equality.
The NBA is regarded as one of the most progressive sports leagues and several key members have already spoken out about the issue and offered their thoughts. In an article on The Players Tribune, Kyle Kuzma offered his stance on what is going on:
That’s why, to this day, man, my stance is: We’re people. At the end of the day, we all gotta come together as people.
Kuzma also strongly stated what he believes to be a major issue regarding race in the United States:
America’s thing that we just do not want to talk about, as a country, is race. The first thing you have to understand is that racism is in every part of society. It’s in the law, it’s economic, it’s person-to-person. It’s basically at every level.
Kuzma has been a fan favorite for the Los Angeles Lakers since he was drafted back in 2017 and he has not been shy about using his platform to share his thoughts. His article is another example of him trying to use his status as a professional athlete to call to attention an incredibly important social issue and it is clear from his words how much the subject matters to him.
The Black Lives Matter movement has never been stronger as people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have joined the cause and lent their support and strength. Just recently, the protesting and advocating influenced the Minneapolis City Council to dismantle the current police department and create a new system of public safety, a huge change and perhaps a signal of things to come.
Athletes like Kuzma are much more capable of doing things other than playing sports, and his recent words are a prime example that they can influence a call to action and hopefully change.