Three former NBA big men — all-time leading scorer and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and twins Jason and Jarron Collins — will be among those featured speaking in support of presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Jabbar and Collins announced their DNC participation via Twitter on Wednesday:
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) July 20, 2016
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) July 20, 2016
— Elsa Collins (@elsacollins) July 20, 2016
Jabbar, 69, was one of the attendees at the famed “Ali Summit,” at which a host of black athletes gathered in Cleveland to show public support for Muhammad Ali’s stance as a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam and his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army. Since the end of his playing days in 1989, he has branched out as an author, documentarian and cultural critic.
In 2012, while serving as U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton announced that Jabbar had been named a global Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State, responsible for “engaging young people worldwide and […] using people-to-people diplomacy as a means to create opportunities for greater understanding.” He has written on a host of issues, including race and religion, for outlets like TIME Magazine, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, and has written multiple pieces opposing the policies and candidacy of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Jason Collins, 37, changed the landscape of sports when he announced in April of 2013 that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay male athlete in any of the four major North American pro sports. Later, after signing on with the Brooklyn Nets, he’d become the first out gay man to actually play a game in one of America’s four major pro sports. After 22 appearances for the Nets, he elected to retire after 13 pro seasons.
His twin brother, Jarron Collins, last played in the NBA in 2011, and has since worked his way up the coaching ladder, starting as a scout with the Los Angeles Clippers before catching on as a player development coach on Steve Kerr’s staff with the Golden State Warriors. Last season, he was promoted to assistant coach, earning rave reviews for his work and becoming one of the hottest future head coaching prospects in the league.
This week’s Republican National Convention featured one speaker from the sporting world: UFC president Dana White. Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was rumored to be involved, but he later clarified that he would not be.
Other celebrities slated to speak at the DNC include actors Chloe Grace Moretz, Lena Dunham, America Ferrara, Debra Messing and Tony Goldwyn, and host/lawyer/personality Star Jones. Singers Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Alicia Keys are also expected to make appearances, as is actor Eva Longoria. The event’s headlining speakers will include First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama and presumptive nominee Clinton, among others.
More NBA coverage:
– – – – – – –