facebook-pixel

Young NBA star Jabari Parker shares message of diversity and love at anti-racism rally in Salt Lake City

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2016, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks' Jabari Parker smiles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Milwaukee. Parker hopes he can become a better player when he returns from his second left ACL injury in three seasons. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker took the stage at Monday night’s anti-racism rally at Salt Lake City Hall, speaking briefly to the crowd of nearly 2,000 people about the importance of diversity and love in the wake of the violent white-supremacist gatherings over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

“I want to set the record straight: we all came here to build, not to destroy. We came out here because we don’t hate them, we just don’t like them. But they hate us,” he said.

Parker, a 22-year-old member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has spoken publicly in the past about a number of issues, including racism and gun violence in his hometown of Chicago. At Monday’s rally in Salt Lake City, Parker said he would be “doing a disservice for my people if I didn’t come here today” and said he would encourage other professional athletes to speak up, too.


Here is a transcript of Parker’s remarks:

“Good evening, everybody. I know a lot of you guys already know me, but I play in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I just want to give you guys a brief background on me. My mom, she’s from Tonga. My dad is [inaudible]. My best friend is Jewish. My uncle is gay. I could go on and on. I came from welfare, government cheese.

“I would be doing a disservice for my people if I didn’t come here today. So I’m here to speak for diversity. I’m diverse. It’s in my DNA. I love my culture. I love you.

“And hopefully I can get a few more professional athletes to do the same. …

“I want to set the record straight: we all came here to build, not to destroy. We came out here because we don’t hate them, we just don’t like them. But they hate us.”

Comments:  (0)