(Image – Divrs Media – Kemet Alston)
Justin Anderson turns to look his former teammate and close friend Malcolm Brogdon dead in the eyes. “Whatever goes on, I’ll be right there beside you, regardless,” he says, solemnly. As the horrors of historical protests for social justice gone awry run through each of their thoughts, Brogdon stares back before responding. “You already know, [the] same goes for you.”
Protest in Atlanta
Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the subsequent nationwide uproar, Anderson and Brogdon marched in the streets of Atlanta to protest for social justice. They were well aware of the dangers of such action but knew the cause was worth it. “I was a little worried about what was going to go down, to be honest,” Anderson comments. “All you see is the history of what happens during protests. From people being hosed, dogs being let off, and people being forcefully punished for protesting and for standing up for what they believe in.”
Fortunately, all went according to plan in Atlanta, and the two former Wahoos were able to get their message across. With Anderson standing beside him, Brogdon made headlines with this speech detailing the systemic racism that plagues the United States and emphasizing the importance of the moment.
Anderson appreciates the historical significance of that day, and he also acknowledges how important that moment was for him and Brogdon as individuals. “The coolest thing for me was just to stand there and have Malcolm’s back,” he says. “So to be able to do that and to be able to listen to him, not only give a powerful speech but to be able to do that on his land, where he was born and raised, that was something that meant a lot to me.”
Anderson adds, “I’m really proud of what Malcolm and I were able to do.” But, he also emphasizes that “this fight’s not going to stop. This is something that has taken a long time to fight for and we’re going to keep fighting for as long as it takes.”
Continuing the Fight
Accordingly, while in the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Brogdon has launched the Brogdon Family Foundation which Anderson has partnered with through the Hoops4Humanity project. According to Brogdon, the foundation will work to foster “advocacy through social justice,” provide “education,” and continue to push for “clean water infrastructure in Africa.”
Along with Anderson, who announced his partnership on July 22nd, Brogdon has brought in a number of fellow NBA and WNBA players to support his cause. Specifically, Wahoos Joe Harris, Ty Jerome, and De’Andre Hunter have all joined the foundation’s NBA Roster.
Whether it’s protesting in the streets, or fundraising to fight for education and global equality, it’s apparent that these former ‘Hoos are going to be backing each other up.