I had the amazing opportunity recently to hear John Amaechi speak to a local middle and high school at their Diversity Day celebration.
John played for the NBA.
John is a tall black man.
John is British.
John is a psychologist.
John is... amazing.
He spoke about how "people love you very conditionally when you play sports - and conditional love sucks."
About how homophobia and racism and sexism are all different heads of the same monster: prejudice.
About the damage words can do... and about the disproportionate power of teens today to affect thousands of other people's lives - for the worse, or for the better.
I even got to ask him a question!
Lee: What do you think can be done to get rid of the homophobia in sports?
John: If there was a meme, it would be: 'Don't flatter yourself. You're not that clever, you're not that interesting, you're not that hot."
John was funny, erudite, and insightful. He has a memoir out, Man In The Middle, and after hearing him in person, it's launched onto the top of my TBR (to be read) pile!