Nobody would describe Patty Mills as a superstar. Even the most diehard San Antonio Spurs fan would agree to that. However, the Australian native has carved out a respectable NBA career as a key role player. Now, he’s utilizing his platform and his remaining $1 million salary to further the mission that Colin Kaepernick has been fighting for so valiantly.
Patty Mills plays a vital role for the Spurs
Born in Canberra, Australia, Patty Mills entered the NBA as a second-round pick by the Portland Trail Blazers back in 2009. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard barely saw the floor. While his career never took off in his two years in Portland, Mills has developed into a valuable player for Gregg Popovich.
Despite spending nearly his entire NBA career as a bench player, the Spurs wouldn’t have won their 2014 title without Mills. During the regular season, he averaged 10.2 points on a cool 42.5 percent shooting from 3-point territory. In fact, he shot at least 40 percent from behind the arc in each of his first three seasons in San Antonio.
As the team eventually transitioned from the Tim Duncan era, Mills has played an important leadership role for the Western Conference powerhouse. Mills suited up in all 82 games in back-to-back seasons and was averaging a career-high 11.7 points this year before the COVID-19 pandemic put the NBA season on pause.
Mills will donate his $1 million salary to fight racism
Recently, NBA players have made their way to Orlando as the league prepares to resume play. Ultimately, nobody knows exactly how the season will unfold. Some players have elected to skip out on the trip to Florida. Others have completely reshaped their bodies and seem excited to get back on the floor.
Of course, players will also collect paychecks for putting their bodies on the line. But in the case of Patty Mills, his money won’t get deposited in his bank account. The Spurs guard explained in a Twitter video about his incredible plan to utilize his remaining salary to further Colin Kaepernick’s mission abroad.
“I’m proud to say that I’m taking every cent earned from these eight games that we’re playing, which for me will turn out to be $1,017,818.54, and donating that directly back to the Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody, and to a recent campaign that’s called the We Got You Campaign dedicating to ending racism in sport in Australia.”
Mills added, “So I’m playing in Orlando because I don’t want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities.”
Talk about someone stepping up to do the right thing. Considering Patty Mills doesn’t exactly take home huge paychecks like LeBron James and James Harden, that $1 million donation represents a huge financial sacrifice. But as we’ve learned with Colin Kaepernick, athletes and other powerful figures have continued to step up to support the fight for equality.
Colin Kaepernick continues to inspire others with his activism efforts
Patty Mills certainly deserves praise for donating his salary to end racism in sport. Of course, the issues of racial equality, police brutality, and social justice aren’t new. In fact, Colin Kaepernick sacrificed not just a single season’s paycheck but his entire career to stand up for change.
Though his days as an NFL quarterback appear to be over, Kaepernick has been highly successful as an activist. He launched the Know Your Rights Camp, which provides legal resources to those in need. In addition, he started his own publishing company. Recently, he even scored a seat on Medium’s board of directors.
Moreover, Colin Kaepernick has inspired several powerful figures to get behind his mission. Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand will donate $100 million over the next decade to ensure racial equality, social justice, and access to education.
In June, Serena Williams’ husband pledged to donate $1 million. That came after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced a $3 million donation toward Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.
It just goes to show that no matter if you’re an NBA superstar, a former NFL quarterback, or one of the richest men in the world, you can make a difference. Patty Mills deserves plenty of props for stepping up to further Colin Kaepernick’s mission abroad.