Steve Nash, Point Guard for the Dallas Mavericks
, looks so retro and plain in the bright style-conscious world of the NBA. He sticks out like a sore thumb with his scruffy hair that makes him look like a draft-dodger or even a Pilgrim on the Mayflower
. He also stands out because he is a sports-star who uses his fame to speak
out for what he believes in.
During the All-Star Game in February, 2003 Nash wore a shirt that said:
“No War: Shoot for Peace”
Criticizing US foreign policy while representing the president’s home state is daring, especially when he is not even an American. Undisputedly, Nash is the best basketball player to ever come from Canada. Born in Victoria, BC, he politely requested that his name be removed from consideration as Canadian male athlete of the year because he felt that there were more deserving candidates*.
Nash, who has recently read ‘Catcher in the Rye’ for the first time, relates to misfit Holden Caulfield. He certainly is a misfit in the NBA since he turns down most endorsement offers for ideological reasons. He does not believe that politics should be left to politicians. Instead, he chooses to leverage his fame and speak out against the war:
"I believe that war would be a huge mistake and that people should really educate themselves on the situation. I think that war would have incredible repercussions not only in the Middle East, but also here in the States.”**
“Being a humanitarian, I think that war is wrong in 99.9 percent of all cases. I think it has much more to do with oil or some sort of distraction, because I don't feel as though we should be worrying about Iraq."**
"I think that Saddam Hussein is a crazy dictator and in some ways a scary person, but I don't think he's threatening us at this point in time. We haven't found any nuclear weapons -- no matter what anyone says -- and that process is still under way. Until that's finished and decided I don't think that war is acceptable."**
His statements were generally ignored by the sports-media. Perhaps professional basketball is the wrong arena for public discourse. This unusual candidate for NBA stardom may not be save the world but at least he is out there trying.