Athletes have been slowly putting on their revolutionary hats and once again drawing inspiration from Colin Kaepernick and leading the charge for change in the wake of the brutal George Floyd killing.
One of those athletes is former NBA player Royce White who overcame his own personal anxiety in a well-documented battle throughout his hoops career. White has been a Civil Rights activist, mental health, and anxiety crusader for almost a decade.
During these protests, he’s led thousands of people in peaceful protests across his hometown of Minnesota.
Former Iowa State basketball star Royce White, who grew up in Minneapolis, with a rousing speech. Ends by saying protesters will be on Hennepin bridge “until CNN covers this protest.” He, other speaker say national media only wants to show looting & fires in #georgefloydprotests pic.twitter.com/EmpsikOBZU
— Tyler Davis (@TDavisDMR) May 29, 2020
In light of President’s Trump’s threats to use military force against peaceful protesters and perpetuate the oppression of Black communities by white law enforcement, White tweeted this message to Donald Trump.
I am an American. I am a black man. Called into action by the recent and ongoing events in this country. If you continue to threaten Minnesotans with military, this will escalate. We will continue to fight against the momentum of tyranny. @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/aEZzkWMj8s
— Royce White (@Highway_30) June 1, 2020
White, who says he was constantly criticized by NBA corporate oligarchs for his warnings about the rising mental health problem and the oppressive nature of their positions and the ill effects it has on the Black and Brown communities, appeared on CNN today after leading another protest.
I-94 I-35W peaceful protest lead by Royce White before the trucker ran through pic.twitter.com/wGkQiTOpLx
— TONY (@keycodez) June 1, 2020
In 2016, White had an encounter with police that easily could have ended his life like George Floyd. He was fortunate to live but continues to speak truth to light about exactly where this country is.
“I hope it’s a moment,” White said. “ I know it’s the moment for myself and a lot of people who have come out to support (the cause)… (Our country) We have to take a strong look at rebuilding this thing from the ground up. The communities have to take back their sovereignty and it’s going to be ugly and our president Donald Trump being the liar that he is, he ran on a platform of sovereignty. For some reason, it doesn’t apply to the Black community and Brown communities and we are beneath philosophical ideas like sovereignty. But we were not.”
“I deal with anxiety but also the elephant in the room is that I told people this would happen. That these corporate oligarchs and huge corporations were incompetent and lacked the necessary vision and humanity to protect us
If Donald Trump continues to threaten us with the military this will escalate. We are tired of the tyranny of police and corporations and the President’s tyranny.”
The New York Times referred to White as one of the “freshest emerging leaders in this new civil rights moment.”
It’s great that he’s finally being acknowledged, but fighting for what’s right is nothing new to White.
“Civil Rights was gonna be my legacy regardless,” White insisted. “From my advocacy for mental health and my fight against the NBA and their oligarchs…it’s all from the same poisonous tree. Who influences the politicians, communities, local tax dollars? These are your NBA and NFL owners. The corporate oligarch, and it’s become very clear that Black lives don’t matter to them but it’s also not clear what lives do matter.”