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My Reality: 2 Different Worlds

(photo by: __xp12 Instagram)

Living in another country is truly a one of a kind experience. It’s so much different than just visiting on vacation because you really get to submerse yourself into the culture of that country. It also served as an eye opener for me because I was able to see, firsthand, how people of the country live or do things differently. In regards to being an athlete living in America there’s much more emphasis on sports and being successful in sports. The comparison I like to make is that some of my teammates overseas have a job on top of playing basketball. This isn’t because of the money, but because they’re already thinking about life after basketball. Whereas, a professional athlete in America “ball is life” and this is their career.

(photo by: __xp12 Instagram)

Playing basketball in Europe I haven’t been anywhere where the fans are aggressive in my personal experience so far. However, as a black athlete in Europe I know that racism exists, and all you have to do is look at soccer. True racism exists everywhere weather you’re a kid or a grown man, it doesn’t change or go away, it’s a problem that the world needs to come together and fix. 

I believe it is very important to show the realities of people of color. One of the many things my teammates would like to do is ask me about life in America, so it’s only right I tell them the realities of the things that we go through. It’s crazy because before I was sent home due to COVID this current season, one of my younger teammates texted me. Before I tell you what he said, keep in mind that there is a age gap of a couple years, so I have to assume that he hasn’t been exposed or he’s not even old enough to understand the many events that already happened in regards to racism since way before he was born. Anyway, he recently texted me like “bro I can’t believe what you said is right, like I see it obviously when I look back in history, but like damn it’s really happening right now” and all I can say is “It’s happening right now? No. It happens every day.” 

(photo by: __xp12 Instagram)

I feel like in order to save the future the world can change by having everyone take a look within themselves and take a look at the people that they surround themselves with. Ask - is the message they promote about peace and equality? If it’s not... that’s the sad reality because you would think at this point, they understand the message but... it’s clear they don’t. 

Looking back on when I was a young kid the advice that I would give to younger generations today in order to create change - I’d tell them to see people for who they are, not the color of their skin or where they come from. Truly value their character, their energy, their motives in life. When someone shows you who they are believe them. 

Fortunately, my reality has been different from the average African-American kid from the Bronx. At a young age my family took the necessary steps in life to make sure I had the resources I needed to follow my dreams and be successful. With that being said I’m always going to be a black man before I’m anything else. Black lives matter today, tomorrow, and every day after that

Peace and Love to all, X. 

(photo by: __xp12 Instagram)

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