Daniel Artest, had a successful 12-year professional basketball playing in Germany, Greece, China and various pro basketball leagues in the United States.
In an open letter to The Unsealed, a user-supported platform that empowers voices to stand up for what is believed to be right, Artest, the brother of Los Angeles Lakers NBA Champion Metta World Peace admits that life has not always been easy as a black man. “People on the street would call me a thug,” Artest said in his as told to entry as told to journalist, Lauren Brill.
“Clerks at a store would follow me to make sure I didn’t steal. And passengers at the train stations in white neighborhoods would give me nasty looks or a nasty attitude.”
Currently hosting The Daniel Artest Podcast, which is available on all podcast streaming platforms, Artests suggests solutions to racism in today’s climate. “Continue to educate yourself on black people’s struggles,” he noted.
“Learn the history and how we got here in the first place. The country was built on the backs of black people, and yet our system tries to hold us back from success and wealth. Use your new knowledge. When you’re not around black people, show your integrity by correcting others when they are offensive toward black people or misinformed.Don’t be scared of me. I am a 6-5 black man who sometimes has a hairy face. That doesn’t make me scary or dangerous. I don’t get in trouble, and I don’t do drugs. So, don’t treat me like I do. Don’t judge me. See me for who I am, which is a caring and loyal person. Lastly, accept me for who I am. I may not look like you, dress like you or sound like you, but that’s OK. Embrace and appreciate our differences instead of trying to eliminate them.”
Daniel Artest admitted that his mom told him not to invite white people to the family’s home. At first, I didn’t know why,” he said.
“But I quickly figured it out. Racism was (and still is) everywhere.
“All my life, I felt as though all white people, even if they didn’t immediately show it, were racist. Sometimes, it just took the right situation for their hate against black people to come out.
“I am 37 years old and I only have two white friends. Just two. But lately, as a lot of you have reached out to me and appear to be trying to educate yourselves on what black people go through, I am willing to give you a chance.”