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Glenn Robinson III on life inside the NBA 'bubble' and fighting for social justice

Robinson III, is currently with the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Bubble in Orlando spoke to CNN's Amanda Davies passionately about raising his two-year-old daughter to understand living as a Black person.

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 4:21 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2020 4:21 PM

For NBA players, life in the "bubble" in Orlando, Florida, isn't easy. You're away from your family and stuck in a hotel room with limited interaction outside of your team.

For Glenn Robinson III of the Philadelphia 76ers, what makes it harder is living without his two-year-old daughter, Ariana, who is at home and thinks bubbles are just something to chase, not a quarantined zone.

Having players reside at Disney World for the next few months is the NBA's solution to resuming and finishing up a season amidst a global pandemic in a country which has struggled in the fight against Covid-19.

"When they're young, they don't really understand why we're traveling or why dad is gone for periods of time. They just want to see you and they want to talk to you," Robinson III told CNN's Amanda Davies.

"It was a very tough decision for me, leaving her, knowing that I would be gone for three or four months. So that definitely weighed on me heavy but, at the end of the day, she's the reason why I do everything."

Robinson III uses his platform to raise awareness through his aptly named ARI Foundation. The son of a former No.1 overall NBA draft pick by the same name, Robinson III started his foundation to empower other fathers to create a lasting legacy for their children.

"I wanted to create something. I'm a natural giver. I know that my purpose is to help the masses and that's why I'm a professional athlete and basketball player," said Robinson III.

"It's to help others in a way that they might not have had that chance and leaving a legacy for my daughter where she'll grab this foundation and be able to take off with it whenever she wants."

Life-long lessons

During the season, Robinson III has been using his foundation to give back to a variety of organizations in his hometown of Gary, Indiana, a city which has long had one of the highest murder rates in America.

Growing up in Gary, Robinson III learned that the color of his skin could have a direct impact on how he was treated by others.

"It's the issue that's never going to go away. It's the issue to where my mom taught me how to hold my hands on a steering wheel when you get pulled over," he said.

"That's been passed down generation to generation by every Black family that I know. So, I will naturally have to teach my daughter those things."

Robinson III and his teammates are using their platforms to enact change, so that maybe one day his daughter won't have to teach her children the same lessons.

During the opening games of the NBA restart, players, coaches and staff chose to take a knee during the National Anthem to help bring attention to social injustice, a move that had US President Donald Trump announce that it would cause him to "turn off the game."

In an interview with Fox last week, Trump said it was "not acceptable" for athletes to take a knee, repeating his claim that no one, apart from possibly Abraham Lincoln, had done more to help the Black community.

LeBron James spoke out, saying: "I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership."

Robinson III agreed with James. "I don't think we will [miss him]. I'm not losing sleep over it," he said.

"I definitely think that the Black community, the basketball community, everyone who is watching us on TV and supporting us ... we're not mad about losing that viewership. I completely agreed with him [LeBron]."

When asked if he felt the NBA was doing enough to stand up for social issues, Robinson III said the league was -- but added that more could always be done.

"For me, it's about actions. It's not about words. It's not about a post. It's about actions. What are you doing at the end of the day to do your part on these issues?" he asked.

"I feel like our leadership, our players association and the way that we understand our role in this sport as players is so important to know we're not just a piece. And this relates back to everything that we're talking about, about social injustice, about everything that's going on in the world right now; we're not just basketball players at the end of the day.

"We're a focal point of how they bring in revenue, and understanding that and making our situation better for the ones who come after us, that's what I was taught by my veterans. And I think that that's what LeBron, that's what Chris Paul, are doing with this situation."

Robinson III added: "We'll never get an opportunity like this again to show how strongly we feel about certain situations and I think we shouldn't back down now."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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