San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills donating salary to social justice causes

July 8 (UPI) — San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills is donating his salary from the NBA’s 22-team restart in Orlando, Fla., to Black Lives Matter and other social justice causes.

In a video posted by the Spurs on social media Wednesday, Mills said he was donating more than $1 million to the campaigns Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody and We Got You — an organization dedicated to ending racism in sports across his native Australia.

“I’m proud to say I’m taking every cent from these eight games that we’re playing, which for me will turn out to be $1,017,818 and 54 cents, and donating that directly back to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody and to a recent campaign that’s called We Got You — dedicated to ending racism in sport in Australia,” Mills said.

“So I’m playing in Orlando because I don’t want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to black communities.”

Mills, 31, has been one of the NBA’s vocal leaders in the fight against social injustice and racism.

Some NBA players have expressed concerns that the league’s return could distract people from the worldwide protests that have happened since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the end of May.

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown said earlier this week that he was against resuming the season but will use his platform to spread awareness about social injustice. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, who called basketball a “distraction” in May, also will play in the restart and donate the remainder of his salary for this season.

The NBA and the NBA Players Association have been working on ideas to create awareness for social justice causes as the league nears a return this month, including having messages such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Equality” on the back of jerseys.

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