Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was reportedly dismayed last month to learn Utah legislators passed a non-binding resolution stating schools should stay away from teaching critical race theory.
Mitchell is working with the NBA’s Social Justice Coalition which has aimed to get players lobbying with national and local politicians to push their cause. Mitchell told GQ Magazine he wouldn’t mind taking his approach offline to talk with Utah legislators.
“It’s one thing to tweet it — and I’m gonna continue to tweet it — but being able to be on the phone and be on these calls with people who do know these things means being able to have an impact, myself,” Mitchell told the magazine in an interview published Friday.
Mitchell reacted to lawmakers’ resolution in May.
“t’s unfortunate that’s a conversation that’s had. I think the biggest thing, the part that I really stand for, is education — and being able to educate our children on racial history, I think, is huge,” Mitchell said, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “So when I tell a child that people were enslaved for 400 years, them understanding what that means is huge — understanding that there’s definitely discrimination in this country, there’s prejudice, there’s racism.”
Critical Race Theory is a controversial philosophy – a progressive idea that proponents say can increase racial equity and which critics describe as Marxist, anti-American and neo-racist.
It’s either “a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against White people,” according to Education Week.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox acknowledged in May he has said that critical race theory “has no place in our curriculum.” But clarified that wanted to make sure students learn every part of history.
“We must also make it abundantly clear that Utah is a place that welcomes everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or any other background,” he told Utah lawmakers, according to FOX 13 Salt Lake City. “It is who we are, and it may be easy to lose sight of that during a knee-jerk debate.”
The Utah School Board also said it was “working towards a more unified approach to improve conditions for learning, access, and opportunities.”