Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard thinks the way some people treat athletes reminds him of the way slaves were handled. The NBA all-star was discussing NFL protests during a radio interview when he said a lot of folks expects athletes to be big, strong, fit and at the same time to not have minds of their own.
“Looking at it now, how they just want us to go out and play basketball and you know, ‘put that jersey on and be proud’ and ‘don’t represent anything, don’t stand for anything, don’t have an opinion, just be respectful’ and ‘go out there and play for me’—it makes me think about kind of the way it was with slavery, when it was, they want the young, strong and you know, ‘His arms are long and he’s got big calves.’ It reminds me of that,” Lillard said in a chat with Oregon Public Broadcasting host Dave Miller.
“They want us to go out and do what we’re built to do. We’re good athletes; we’re physically strong; we’re very capable…They don’t want to know what we think; they don’t care how we feel about something. It’s just ‘Go out there and do what your job is.'”
NBA players were informed recently that they would have to stand for the national anthem during the upcoming season or face punishment.
That being said, do you agree with Damian’s thoughts or are things different since today’s athletes have the freedom to participate in sports or not to? Lillard will make $24.33 million this year just from hooping alone so does that mean he’s obligated to do as told by the team’s owner, Paul Allen?
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