Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard has made it clear that racial justice matters to him, even joining the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland last spring. But Lillard doesn’t want to stop there, according to Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated.
“When you look around, and see some of the things that’s going on, you almost just don’t know how to respond to it or what to do about it,” Lillard told The Undefeated in a phone interview this week. “Being somebody that uses my platform and has actually been out there literally marching, you look around and just think. I’m not sure exactly what to do going forward, but I think whatever it is, it has to be with action.
“The whole, using my platform and just trying to post about stuff and all that, we’re past that point. We’ve got to start figuring out what’s the plan of action. I want to actually be a part of some change.”
Lillard is going beyond his platform to invest in a new media outlet, PlayersTV. CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony have also invested. McCollum hosted an interview with then-candidate and now future Vice-President Kamala Harris on his show, Remaking America, in October. Regarding his own possible contributions to PlayersTV, Lillard states he wants to do things his way.
You look at what CJ did with Kamala Harris. You look at what Kyrie did with Common. The NBA is able to use its platform to shine a light on things that they feel strongly about. I think it’s great that you got people using this platform to control their narrative.
For me, I feel the same in a lot of those situations, and I have a lot of things of my own that I’d like to do my way. I’d bring truth, authenticity and somebody who truly cares about the cause, and who truly cares about our culture, and our people. So, I’m not sure exactly what it would be. But I know it’ll be things that I bring to the table that’ll make us stronger on this platform.
Lillard also spoke about the formation of a kind of bubble around the Trail Blazers, their families, and their staff.
So, that’s what the challenge is, and just let them know, we need to create a bubble within our team, within our organization. The people in our facility and a bubble in our household, that way we’re protecting each other to the best of our abilities. But I wouldn’t say go back to a bubble because there’s so much more season to be played, people have families, and at least we’re forming a bubble in our homes, in our own beds and get to do it that way.
According to Lillard, the rules work to the Blazers’ advantage.
It comes down to the preparation and just being disciplined. Over the years, a lot of our success comes from our unity and togetherness, how hard we work and how we’re able to stay together through ups and downs, peaks and valleys of the NBA season.
In a situation like this, those things play in our favor where we’ve got a lot of rules to follow. … We’ve got to be able to count on each other and depend on each other to be disciplined, and to follow those rules, and do all of those things while still being able to keep up with our routines, and make sure we’re on top of our training, and getting rest. Our team, we’re committed to that, and we’ve done a great job of it.
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