In a league where a majority of its stars are young men of color, they’ve become the loudest voices for social justice.
But as they talk on issues like gun control, race relations, politics and poverty, critics have told the likes of Lebron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble.”
While King James says he definitely won’t shut up, the League’s commissioner has given his players the green light to take a stand.
“I’m incredibly proud of our players for using the platform they have as players in the NBA and social media to speak out on issues that are important to them. I was proud of Lebron and Kevin’s responds in comments made about them,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
These players’ stances have kept many Filipino fans up to date with current issues.
“These athletes are world known so everybody will listen to them,” said Paulo Abesamis.
“We’ve been talking about it a couple minutes ago and I think every body has there right. These are issues that should be talked about but athletes are very influential people,” saidOrly Paulino.
Some just want to see some sports action.
We don’t really care about that. We just watch and then learn that’s it,” said Kyle Paulino.
While their media presence shines brighter than ever, many of these stars go the extra mile; last month, Steph Curry teamed up with Colin Kaepernick to donate $20,000 to the Fil-Am run United Playaz in San Francisco’s South of Market area.
“We have the opportunity to speak in what we believe in and take a stance and be consistent around that,” said Curry, “as well as use resources that we have to put effort and action behind those messages and those causes.”
Some other recent actions include passing up White House visits and political endorsements.
For these high profile outspoken athletes, the soap box duties go beyond beyond their careers.
Some of the original disrupters from Kareem Abdul Jabar to Bill Russell are still speaking up to this day, even in retirement.