Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is speaking out about the recent events in Charlottesville, Va.
Wall spoke to the media at a charity event in D.C. on Friday, where he went in-depth on the current political climate in the U.S. that led to a violent confrontation involving white supremacists in Charlottesville last weekend.
“I know this week has been tough for our country with things not going the way we would want them to, but the most important thing is that you can’t use that as retaliation. We’ve all got to treat each other as the same,” Wall said according to CSN Mid Atlantic. “No matter what colour you are, we are all family. We’re all in this world trying to make it more peaceful and promising than anything.”
Wall said the past week has been difficult for him and he stressed how important it is for people to send a positive message, and not a message of hate, to the next generation.
“It’s been tough. We go through times where things are going in the right direction for us and our country is going in positive ways, then we revert back to the stuff we try to tell our kids not to do, that our parents told us not to be,” he said. “It’s kind of amazing to think that in 2017 and going into 2018, that we’re still dealing with the same type of things that our great-great-grandparents dealt with.”
When asked about using his platform to speak out on political issues, especially as an athlete playing in the U.S. capital, Wall said it just comes naturally to him to speak up on things that he doesn’t think are right.
“If it’s something I feel like I need to speak on, I will speak on it,” he said. “It’s me and my personality and what my mom wanted me to be growing up.”
Wall’s comments come after athletes and teams from across the sporting world denounced the events in Charlottesville.
LeBron James called Donald Trump the “so-called president,” in response to Trump’s controversial comments after the rally.
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley, who spent time in Charlottesville as a child, said the violence there “broke my heart.”
The three sports teams based in Tampa, Fla., the Rays, Lightning and Buccaneers, pledged money towards a fund to remove a confederate statue in front of Tampa City Hall.
And players from the the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics joined arms in solidarity during the national anthem before their game on Wednesday.