Oscar Robertson received a Lifetime Achievement award at the NBA awards 3 days ago. During the awards ceremony, Oscar Robertson delivered a very powerful speech on social issues which are still a problem in society.
NBA legend said he is very happy to see athletes like LeBron James actively speak about today's societal issues, however, he also called upon the white athletes to do the same thing. Robertson spoke about the impact players of his generation had in regards to social activism and whether he is proud of some of today's players and the effort the NBA is having on improving the community.
"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 really bothers me is, where are the white athletes when this is happening?
"This is not a black athlete problem. 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.
"There are a lot of players donating money back into different colleges. But it seems that what we have today is a system where you don't want players to say anything at all."
When Robertson was growing up segregation was really strong, especially in his hometown in Indianapolis. He was dealing with racial discrimination and economic inequality on a daily basis. Robertson was a part of a generation of players like Abdul- Jabbar and Bill Russell who were involved in creating a better environment and social change.
"Years ago, they [athletes] didn't say anything because they couldn't say anything," the 12-time All-Star and former MVP said.
"But now I hope they all, the whites and the blacks get together. Even with football. What do you think is going to happen when the union gets involved with the owners?
"You think it's going to be settled really easily? No, it's not. It's going to be nothing but a total mess."
Robertson was the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double (double figures in points, rebounds, and assists) for an entire season (1961-1962), and he remains the league’s all-time leader in triple-doubles with 181.
Named among the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all time, Robertson’s other career-making individual accomplishments include the NBA Rookie of the Year (1961), NBA MVP (1964), three NBA All-Star Game MVPs and nine All-NBA First Team honors. He and the Milwaukee Bucks won their only NBA championship in 1971 amid 10 combined playoff appearances with the Cincinnati Royals and the Bucks