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NBA legend: 'Where are the white athletes' speaking out against social injustice?
At an NBA Awards show Monday night, NBA legend Oscar Robertson called for white athletes to also speak out about social injustice. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NBA legend: 'Where are the white athletes' speaking out against social injustice?

NBA legend Oscar Robertson said he wants to see more white athletes speak out and take action on issues of social justice, according to ESPN.

Robertson, a Hall of Fame point guard who played in the 1960s and 1970s, made the comment Monday night at the NBA Awards show in Santa Monica, California, during his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

"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 bothers me is, where are the white athletes when this is happening?" Robertson said.

Why did he bring it up?

Robertson was asked by a reporter about how his generation of athletes worked for social justice and asked what he thought about current players' efforts.

High-profile NBA players such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant have made headlines over the past year for comments they've made related to social issues or President Donald Trump's administration.

"This is not a black athlete problem," Robertson said. "You see injustice in the world. It's all around you. Just because LeBron steps out, I'm glad he does. I hope some other players — because this is what they believe — I mean, what do you want players to do? Shut up and dribble? I think it's time for them to say what they want to say about life and about politics and things about the street and whatnot. And about education."

What is Robertson's background?

Robertson played in the NBA during a time when racial segregation was still pervasive in the United States. According to ESPN, he grew up in a segregated housing project.

He endured significant racial injustice during his early life and career. When his all-black high school won the Indiana state championship in 1955, city officials forced the players to hold their celebration outside the city because, as Robertson told the Indianapolis Star, "They said the blacks are gonna tear up downtown."

In college, as one of the first black players at the University of Cincinnati, Robertson wasn't allowed to stay in hotels on road trips until his junior year, something he said he will "never forgive them" for.

A large part of Robertson's legacy, besides his excellent on-court career, is his role in establishing free agency in the NBA through a 1970 lawsuit, Robertson v. National Basketball Association. That the NBA awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award indicates that, after several decades, his relationship with the league has healed from that conflict.

(H/T: Fox News)

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