San Antonio Spurs’ Lonnie Walker IV cut off his signature long locks on Thursday, revealing that his hair had been a “mask” to help him cope with the sexual abuse he suffered as a young child.
The 21-year-old guard posted a video to Instagram detailing the evolution of his hairstyle but explained in the caption that he had started growing it out in fifth grade after being abused that summer.
“The real truth as to why I started doing this early 5th grade, it was a cloaking device for me,” Walked said in the post.
“During the summer of my 5th grade year I was around more family. Some, that names will be left alone, I was around more. I was sexually harassed, raped, abused, I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what is what. I was a gullible curious kid that didn’t know what the real world was. I had a mindset that my hair was something that I can control. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine. And it gave my confidence.”
Walker went on to explain that he wasn’t at his “best” mentally as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and he began to struggle with the memories of his childhood but the time alone allowed him to “truly look at myself in the mirror and see who I truly was even behind closed doors.”
“Long story short I have found peace and internal happiness through this journey, god willingly. I forgave everyone, even the people that don’t deserve it why? Because it’s dead weight. Time doesn’t wait on anyone so why should I waste my time on it?”
He continued: “Me cutting my hair was more than a cut. My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurities that I felt the world wasn’t ready for.”
Walker said he feels better than ever and that he’ll be taking time away from social media as he continues “growing through this.”
“Just know I love each and everyone one of y’all. Peace, love and happiness.”