NBA legend Oscar Robertson received the Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday night during the NBA Awards show in California and used his platform to praise players for their social activism.
Robertson, 79, said he was happy to see LeBron James and other NBA stars take a stance on societal issues and called on white athletes to follow in their footsteps, according to ESPN.
“I think that as people evolve, and things are changing so much in the world with social media and whatnot, these people are young people who have families," Robertson said. "They've seen some injustice in the streets or wherever it might be, it might be almost anywhere, and they're stepping up. But the only thing that really bothers me is ‘where are the white athletes’ when this is happening?”
Robertson added that injustices in the world weren’t just a “black athlete problem” and that there appears to be a “system where you don’t want players to say anything at all.”
Robertson, a 12-time All-Star point guard and former MVP, grew up in a segregated housing project in Indianapolis. He said during his playing time players couldn’t speak out like they could now.
“But now I hope they all, the whites and the blacks get together. Even with the football. What do you think is going to happen when the union gets involved with the owners?” he said.