B.C. basketball star shares personal experiences, thoughts on BLM

'It is hard to be black'

In light of protests across the world after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in the U.S., the issue of being black and racism hits close to home for many. 

That includes UNBC Timberwolves' basketball star and homegrown Prince Georgian Tyrell Laing, who shared his emotional story when it comes to social injustice through a video the school's athletics department shared on social media.

"It wasn't that long ago when I went on Kijiji and I was actually looking at an ad or a post for a basement suite being rented," Laing says in the video.

"And at the end of the price, in brackets, it said 'Whites Only.' You become accustomed to certain things and it's a sad reality in today's day and age that somebody would have to get used to being treated differently.

"It makes me proud to represent a culture, it makes me proud to represent family." 

The T-Wolves also posted its own statement at the start of the video: 

"In the wake of the recent racial injustices, we have been searching for the right words to properly convey our thoughts and feelings.

"The social and racial inequalities are nothing short of tragic and disheartening. We stand for the marginalized, the forgotten and the unseen. 

"But, rather than trying to find the right words, we need to listen. 

"In times of unspeakable tragedy, leaders emerge. Often, those leaders are our youth. Young individuals who have a message that should be heard. And we must hear them."

Laing added the world is a 'long ways away' from where it needs to be when it comes to social injustice and racism.

"It is hard to be black, not only in America, not only in Canada but almost anywhere in the world,"  Laing explains. 

"I think, sort of, a lot of that stems from just systematic inequalities in people in government and positions of power predominantly being Caucasian males who are making big decisions who can really influence that change. I believe that black people have been placed behind the eight-ball from the get-go. We are a long ways away from getting to where we need to in terms of racism but it starts from the ground up in our communities."

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