Indiana Pacers

Pacers’ Holiday says he’s ‘Back with a Purpose’ in open letter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — Indiana Pacers forward Justin Holiday says he’s ready to play basketball and to fight for racial equality.

In the letter published Tuesday in The Players’ Tribune, Holiday said, “I was worried about speaking out and losing my job. But I fear that no more.”

Holiday discussed his job as a professional athlete, his identity as a Black man and how he wants to use his platform for change.

“We deserve to be loved, supported and respected, and I am committed to making a change, and that change will be reflected through doing my job. Come July 30, when games resume, you can expect an explosion of athleticism and focus from me, coupled with an unparalleled passion for philanthropy and human rights — rights my people have been striving to achieve for decades,” Holiday said in the letter.

Holiday acknowledges his letter “will be met with a range of emotions from empathy to apathy, and from anger to frustration.”

Many of the league’s biggest names have used social media to condemn police brutality and racial injustice, and some NBA players have also appeared at demonstrations and marches around the nation in recent days.

The National Basketball Coaches Association has also said that it will work collectively to find answers and determine the best courses of action. It has not said if it has made any specific decisions yet, though said it intends to work with “local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies” in NBA cities to influence change.

The NBA will finish its season in Orlando, starting July 30.

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