Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook has been a loud voice for social justice reform and recently talked about his experience marching with his father.
Amid the NBA working toward a restart during times of social and health-related strife, Russell Westbrook has been using his platform well. From attending a Black Lives Matter protest to announcing the production of a television series about the Tulsa Race Massacre, the superstar is making the Houston Rockets and the world proud.
Westbrook continued making his presence known Saturday as America continues to organize and rally for social equality. Joining Tulsa’s Juneteenth Block Party, Westbrook joined Emmy Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker Stanley Nelson to discuss how he’s using his high-profile status to influence others.
“I feel like it’s my duty, not just as an African American male, but having this platform, to let people know that it’s okay to stand up for what you believe in,” said Westbrook. “It’s okay to sacrifice. It’s okay to be able to stand up and be strong and understand how important your word and the youth movement is.”
From launching youth programs to his work with his Why Not? Foundation, Westbrook has always been focused on helping youths in any way he can. With the November elections approaching, he knows that the voices of younger people are as important as ever.
“It’s going to be a struggle,” said Russell. “It’s not just going to be a snap of a finger and it will change tomorrow. Just taking it step by step, whether it’s bringing light to things happening in African American history or doing things in the educational system or the community. We have to find ways to help the youth out however we can.”
Westbrook also mentioned how special it was to see people across the world unite during the march, which was magnified even more by the presence of his father.
“My family marched together in Compton about a week ago. My dad, to be able to see me marching and standing up for what I believe and standing up for justice. To see not just myself but to see the whole world [marching], to see unity — to me, that gave me chills. To be able to understand and see how powerful that can be was amazing in itself.
Russell Westbrook’s full interview can be seen above, starting at the 40-minute mark.