On Sunday, prior to Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, the NBA announced that Dallas Mavericks starting wing Reggie Bullock was named the league’s 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion. He was selected after the league named five finalists for the award aimed at recognizing athletes who “pursue social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged”. Bullock is recognized for his work with and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community, something that is personal for Bullock.
After his sister, Mia Henderson – a transgender woman – was murdered in 2014, Bullock dedicated his life to honoring her legacy and fighting for increased visibility and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community Upon joining the Mavericks ahead of the 2021-22 season, Bullock immediately connected with organizations in the Dallas area, including Abounding Prosperity, Dallas Southern Pride, House of Rebirth, The Black-Tie Dinner, the Resource Center and the Muhlashia Booker Foundation, to take action in support of their work.
Bullock’s off-court work and passion has been impactful for well over a decade and covered in each of his stops in the NBA. He also wrote about his perspective in a Players’ Tribune article, “I Just Wanna Say My Sisters’ Names”.
As part of this award, which was decided on by a panel of social justice and diversity leaders including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar himself, Bullock was able to select an organization to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf. He selected Kinston Teens, a youth-led organization from his hometown of Kinston, North Carolina.
The Mavericks may be in the midst of a tough series against the Golden State Warriors, and while it is always great to cheer on the work these Mavericks players do on the court, it is even better to see the impact they have away from the game. Congratulations to Reggie Bullock on this recognition, and his passionate and personal work.