We Matter: Athletes and Activism
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About the Author
"An accessible collection of interviews and essays addressing racial profiling, the power and relevance of athletes' voices, gender inequality, and mental health stigmas...In appealing and intelligent writing, Thomas encourages fans and athletes to share their voices and inspires thoughtful action through this well-timed and significant collection...An excellent resource to spark discussions and motivate positive community expression and involvement."
"Former Marquette University basketball player and 12-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade, along with Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who played for the Milwaukee Bucks while he was still known as Lew Alcindor) are among more than 50 athletes, coaches, executives and media personalities featured in a timely new book exploring the intersection of sports and politics."
--Isthmus (Madison, WI)
"In We Matter, former NBA player and poet Etan Thomas interviews a number of notable athletes, writers, and coaches in order to explore the world of athletes and activism...It is fascinating to read the thoughts of these figures that Thomas interviews and is a great primer on the intersection of sports and politics for beginners, while also containing much that will be revealing for those already well versed in these topics."
--Fansided, Included in A Black History Month sports reading list
"Thomas has spent his life examining inequities in America particularly as it relates to race and poverty. He's spoken out against war, helped Oklahoma prisoners write poetry and rallied against police brutality...But, Thomas says he's not alone: that social issues dominate what athletes talk about behind closed doors."
"Thomas' book focuses on the intersection of race and politics in sports. It features interviews with several Basketball Hall of Famers including Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, countless NBA all-stars and the Suns' Jamal Crawford. Beyond basketball, the book also addresses the NFL's collusion case of embattled players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, as well as discussions with family members of police brutality casualties including Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Terence Crutcher."
"Etan confronts our collective challenges and reminds us that life is not just a game, but demands a constant struggle for justice."
--Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
"This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the voice of the modern athlete."
"I applaud Etan Thomas' We Matter because his voice is adding strength and courage to athletes in regard to speaking up and becoming more involved in the issues of social justice. His support is especially important to other professional athletes because they do have a larger platform with the ability to reach huge audiences."
"It couldn't have happened without [athletes]...People around the world know my brother's name. I don't know if a lot of people know this, but in the beginning, the news outlets didn't want to run the story."
--Jahvaris Fulton (brother of Trayvon Martin)
"On Facebook someone had reposted the video [of various NBA players wearing I Can't Breathe shirts]...and I thought it was Photoshopped. I didn't think it was real...It was really overwhelming because I felt that my voice is being heard."
--Emerald Snipes (daughter of Eric Garner)
"When we saw footage of Russell Westbrook speaking out after my brother's death, and telling the world how wrong it was and that they were going to do whatever our family needs, and that they were going to be there for us, it really touched my family. It meant so much to my father..."
--Dr. Tiffany Crutcher (sister of Terence Crutcher)
"It really touched my heart. If I could personally meet each and every one of the WNBA players, I would give them all a hug and tell them individually, 'Thank you for speaking out and supporting my brother, it was just so brave.' Some people in the spotlight are afraid to speak out, but they weren't at all. They used their voices and their outlet and told the entire world that what happened to my brother and to Alton Sterling was wrong...I can't thank them enough."
--Allysza Castile (sister of Philando Castile)