Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is helping the NBA advocate for change in America.
In a new PSA launched in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May, Lillard — who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers — decries the recent rise in violence against the AAPI community.
"May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month," Lillard says. "As we celebrate, we must also acknowledge the troubling rise in violence and discrimination towards Asian Americans this year. Hate and bigotry against anyone has no place in our game — or in our communities."
Lillard, 30, adds, "Now is the time to stand up, speak out, and be good allies. We must continue our fight to stop discrimination and xenophobia, together. To find out how you can get engaged, visit StandAgainstHatred.org."
The findings of a study released in March of police department statistics shows that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by nearly 150 percent in 2020 amid the coronaviurs pandemic, despite hate crimes overall dropping by 7 percent.
Lillard has been outspoken about hate against Asian Americans, posing for photos in a "Stop Asian hate" shirt earlier this year. The NBA, too, is doing its part. Last week, the league announced its support of the Asian American Foundation.
If you've been attacked or have witnessed an attack, please contact your local authorities. You can also report your incident here. To learn more and to report crimes, go to: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Stop the AAPI Hate, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, and Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council.