Harrison Barnes is more than just a basketball player. From basketball camps, to community engagement, and speaking up about social injustice, the Dallas Mavericks forward wears a lot of hats off the court. It’s easy to see why the Mavericks admire his leadership and value his contributions to the team and the community.
In an ongoing series for The Players’ Tribune this season, Barnes interviews people whom he admires. Past interviews include Dr. Harry Edwards, the architect of the protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Fitbit’s James Park, Emmitt Smith, and former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, with whom Barnes held a basketball and leadership camp in South Dallas last year.
In his latest interview, Barnes speaks with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The two cover a range of subjects including the future of the platform as it pertains to sports, Twitter’s influence, workplace equality and diversity, gun violence, and the activism of athletes and students. Here’s an excerpt:
Speaking of people who get a lot of attention on Twitter … earlier this year President Trump tweeted about my old teammate, Steph Curry. And athletes definitely didn’t stay silent about it. LeBron tweeted back right away, other athletes too. What did you think of how athletes responded?
I think one of the things that we have seen that has been really powerful on the service is that people can speak truth to power. And the fact that anyone can call out a global leader and tell him or her what they think — is why we’re here. And we’ve seen it for over 11 years. You know, we sometimes get the question, “Why do we allow pseudonyms on the platform? Why do we allow anonymity on this platform?” And it’s exactly this reason. I think anyone who can speak up to power and utilize our platform is extremely brave and courageous and also inspiring, and that’s what we need more of. We need to be able to acknowledge and also hold our leaders to account. And the more we can do it publicly, the more we can learn and the more we can inspire our leaders to do the same.