The 2020 NBA playoffs have begun and with lots of changes happening in the league one thing that will remain the same is players using their platform to bring awareness. As we’ve seen, some players have chosen messages to put on the back of their jerseys like; Black Lives Matter, Equality, How Many More?, Vote and many more. Those players who chose not to print messages on their backs are using other ways to show support, advance the movement and keep the conversation going. Chris Paul is doing both by wearing “Equality” across his back and “Can’t Give Up Now… #BreonnaTaylor” written on his custom made sneakers highlighting different Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Chris Paul, a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem North Carolina, is the only member of his family who didn’t attend an HBCU but that hasn’t stop him from supporting these colleges and universities. To bring more visibility to our HBCUs, Paul has sported HBCU shirts and hoodies before and after games throughout the seasons. He recently announced that he will be producing a docuseries on basketball athletes at HBCUs.
“HBCUs historically have been at a competitive disadvantage with their basketball programs facing many challenges with funding, recruitment, misperceptions, and exposure,” said by Chris Paul in a statement. “With the current racial awakening in our country prompting young athletes to look at where they play, it’s now more important than ever to shine a light on HBCUs and showcase their value in sports and society.”
Paul has also partnered with professor Anita Elberse from Harvard Business School to bring her Entertainment, Media and Sports course to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University aka North Carolina A&T University to create a much needed path and opportunity for careers in the industry. This course will expand to additional HBCUs in 2021.
There are over 100 HBCUs and with about 19 games left (as of 8/20/2020) for the Oklahoma City Thunder until the 2020 NBA Finals, Paul has plenty of designs to work with on this HBCU Sneaker Tour. Personally since CP3 has already worn shoes representing my Alma Mater, Winston-Salem State University, I hope to see a pair representing our Caribbean HBCU family at The University Of The Virgin Islands before OKC leaves the bubble. See the photos below for all the HBCUs he’s spotlighted during the playoffs so far (click on each HBCU name to learn more)
Spelman College and Morehouse College aka SpelHouse
(Chris Paul adds Chadwick Boseman‘s name on his sneakers)
Livingstone College (New Orlean’s Pelicans Forward Zion Williamson joined in too)