Grizzlies Zach Randolph speaks about social issues at Media Day - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Grizzlies Zach Randolph speaks about social issues at Media Day

Zach Randolph (Source: WMC Action News 5) Zach Randolph (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Mike Conley (Source: WMC Action News 5) Mike Conley (Source: WMC Action News 5)
David Fizdale (Source: WMC Action News 5) David Fizdale (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Media Day for most sports teams is normally a time to talk about the upcoming season, match-ups, and stats. But this year is different. Players are being asked to weigh in on social issues and comment on what other pro athletes are doing to bring attention to those issues.  

Grizzlies forward Zack Randolph said he has spoken to other NBA players with the Players’ Association. 

"I'm trying to come up with something myself and try to do it around the league. We're working on that right now. It's a situation that needs to be addressed, and it's tough," Randolph said.

Collin Kaepernick made headlines before the NFL season started by refusing to stand during the national anthem. Several other players in the NFL and in other sporting leagues have joined the protest in various ways.   The athletes said they are trying to draw attention to social injustices, specifically those between law enforcement and African Americans.

Grizzlies Guard Mike Conley said athletes have a voice, and they should use that voice.

"It's powerful right now--what's going on in our world today--and as athletes and people who have a voice and being on the platform that we are, it's going to happen. It's just a matter of time," Conley said.

The Grizzlies kick off preseason games at FedExForum on October 3. The first Grizzlies regular season game is October 26.

Those first games will be the first time we get to see new head coach David Fizdale on the sideline for the Grizzlies.

Fizdale grew up in a rough neighborhood in south central Los Angeles. He said one of his biggest goals while the head man in Memphis is to give back to the community.

"I really want to be a mentor to these young people. I want to get involved with a lot of programs that create opportunity for them: education for them, outlets for them after school, and a lot of stuff to get them to school," Fizdale said.

[Editor's note: Story has been updated to reflect that Randolph did not commit to being part of any protest. He said he is working to come up with something to do to help bring light to social issues in America.]

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