Early in July, Ben Simmons mentioned that he had some ideas about a plan to address racism in Australia, his country of birth. He revealed that project on Tuesday, which calls for Australians to “be more informed, more educated, and more engaged” in challenging racism.
Australian celebrities and athletes joined with Simmons to launch the project.
The project’s website provides some specific ways people can “do more,” including resources to learn about Australia’s history and cultures, and links to support the Refugee Council of Australia and National Justice Project.
“I think recently, the past few months, this has been huge,” Simmons said in an interview with The Today Show in Australia. “I don’t think it’s something that’s going to die down now. I think it’s the perfect time for everybody to do more. I think Australia is a great place to be and live and grow up (in), but there’s some things we can do to make it a better place.”
Simmons also talked about personal experiences with racism during that interview.
He emphasized in July that he hopes to push for equality.
"Just being an African-American Australian kid growing up back home, there’s always been racism that the Indigenous people of Australia — I’d even compare them to the Native Americans here — that don’t get treated fairly," Simmons said. “They don’t have the same opportunities, they don’t have great healthcare, they don’t have opportunities to learn, they don’t have the safety that the majority of people will have back home.
"So for me seeing the incident with George Floyd and so many other people, it’s not fair. I believe in equality. I think at the end of the day, everybody deserves the same opportunities. Hopefully we can do that for the kids back home in Australia. ... At the end of the day, that’s what everybody’s asking for, is equality."