The basketball star, radio host, and author discusses how an unfair run-in with police sparked a life of activism—and how everyone’s wrong about Michael Jordan’s legacy.
Etan Thomas, spoke at the SUNY Oswego Marano Campus Center Monday as part of the college’s I Am Oz Diversity Speaker Series. Thomas, who played basketball at Syracuse University from 1996 to 2000 before an 11-year NBA career, talked about his new book “We Matter: Athletes and Activism,” which explores the roles athletes play in social and political movements.
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“That’s why I wanted to get Adam Silver’s voice in there and Ted Leonsis and Mark Cuban and the people in positions of power in the NBA, to let them know you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to be hesitant,” Thomas said. “Their voices are powerful. They’re, like, really powerful. I don’t want people to feel afraid to use their voice.”
After reading the book We Matter: Athletes & Activism by Etan Thomas in which he interviews some of the most influential minority athletes in sports, I have to agree with Thomas that these athletes should not only be encouraged to speak out more about social issues, but they should be supported by the organizations they represent.
Eric Reid was ranked the 10th best safety in the NFL according to Bleacher Report last season. He’s a former pro-bowler and five year starter with the 49ers. Reid is only 26 years old and was expected to be a high target free agent this offseason by a number of NFL scouts. He’s a high caliber defensive back that can fill multiple roles on defense – playing over five different positions last season for the 49ers. Team owners aren’t worried about his numbers or past, however, they’re worried about his position on standing for the National Anthem.
As a 10-year NBA veteran with the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks, Etan Thomas was not afraid to speak his mind about important subjects in the news, often resulting in criticism from fans and the media. In his new book, We Matter: Athletes and Activism, Thomas tirelessly interviews a range of people from NBA icons to the families of crime victims to illustrate the importance of athletes using their voice for more than just sports.
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Former Syracuse basketball star and social justice advocate Etan Thomas spoke in Syracuse's Hendricks Chapel on Monday night as part of the Maxwell School's Tanner Lecture Series on Ethics, Citizenship and Public Responsibility.
With the advent of social media, politically active athletes seem more common now than ever before.
Indeed, N.F.L. players kneeling during the national anthem, a movement started by Colin Kaepernick and echoed by others, became a cultural flash point last season after President Trump aimed his ire on the movement, accusing them of disrespecting the troops.
Basketball star and social activist Etan Thomas will present his new book We matter: Athletes and Activism, a work on social activism among today’s athletes, on Tuesday.
His book, which will be released March 6, includes a collection of interviews and testimonies of 50 individuals, with commentary from Thomas, as well as athletes, activists, media personalities, scholars and the families of victims of police brutality.
Derrick Etan Thomas was on his way to play basketball for Booker T. Washington that night 22 years ago, driving his 1978 Monte Carlo to Central so he could lead one of the best teams in Oklahoma history to another command performance, the type of which would take Thomas to Syracuse, the NBA and the Tulsa Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame.
Etan Thomas, Danny Morgan and Joey Grayson are the next three selections announced for the Tulsa Public Schools Athletics Hall of Fame’s 2018 class.
They join Granville Liggins, Jonita Ford Criddle, Bill Van Burkleo and Terrell Lester, who will all be inducted during the sixth annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Marriott Southern Hills.