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DeMar DeRozan reflects on how his childhood experiences influenced how he feels about the police.
NBA’s DeMar DeRozan Reveals Impact of ‘Endless’ Police Brutality During Childhood in Compton https://t.co/xhrQZyauv9
— People (@people) July 23, 2020
Open letter shared by PEOPLE
In an open letter shared by PEOPLE, the guard of the San Antonio Spurs and Compton, Calif., Native revealed how racism and police brutality taught her what it means to be black in America.
“As a child, I always wondered why it was so difficult for my friends and relatives to find a job,” he begins in the letter. “A lot of people were just trying to do the right thing after they got into trouble, so why wouldn’t someone hire them? It wasn’t until years later, as a teenager, that the answer became obvious to me because of the way I was treated by the police. ”
As a student at Compton High School
He continued, “As a student at Compton High School, my friends and I were regularly targeted by the police. They assumed we were gang members just because we were in a group or doing things just to bother us. Once, a cousin of mine who did nothing wrong was arrested after the police said, “Well, someone has to go to jail today. I still remember an older friend who was killed when the police threw him out of the car window. he was sleeping.”
11-year-old NBA veteran later said
The 11-year-old NBA veteran later said that after a while he realized there were two different Americas and how that motivated him to be the best he could. to be.
“Over time, I realized that this treatment couldn’t be attributed just to ‘the police doing their job’, it was something else. I understood better the struggles my loved ones faced when I was younger – in the United States, things were more difficult for us just because we were black, ”he said. It motivated me to do whatever I could to improve my life. But for the other people I grew up with, it made them rebellious, hateful and aggressive towards any kind of authority. I fully understand why.
DeMar DeRozan used his own struggle as an inspiration
DeMar DeRozan used his own struggle as an inspiration to become a strong advocate for mental health awareness. He has also previously revealed his own difficulty dealing with depression and anxiety.
Last October, DeRozan used his social media in an effort to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness on World Mental Health Day.
“There should be no shame or stigma for anyone who strives to make their mental health a priority,” DeRozan tweeted, encouraging his supporters to support the NBA Fellow Kevin Love Fund, launched in 2018 for promote physical and mental well-being. . Love and DeRozan both made headlines when they revealed severe depression.
The two also appeared in an NBA commercial that promoted mental wellness.
Read DeMar DeRozan’s full open letter here.