Only on 13 News: Craig Hodges' Continued Activism - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Only on 13 News: Craig Hodges' Continued Activism

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Craig Hodges won two titles with the Chicago Bulls before the NBA shut him out for outspoken political activism. Now the author of a new book, he still speaks truth to power.

"The more passion you have for something, the more time you put into it."

Craig Hodges won a three-point three peat at All-Star weekend in the 1990's. He won two rings with the Bulls. Then his NBA playing career ended.

"At the top of the sport in terms of shooting the basketball, then to not have that happen, it was somewhat depressing."

Hodges spoke openly and honestly about national social issues at the height of the Rodney King riots on a platform used by his predecessors.

"Jack Johnson, all the way to Ali, Jim Brown, Curt Flood, we're standing on history."

Fast forward to 2017 - Hodges' new book "Long Shot" details his athletic activism. He won't stick to sports, despite equally outspoken critics.

"You're my entertainer. So entertain me. I don't want to have my entertainment messed up in any way so don't talk into political circles. That's where we lose the point that athletes are human beings."

Hodges fully supports a contemporary who's also been blacklisted for public demonstration - NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"You can see what you want, it's just the choice you want to make to support people. Colin wanted to be on the side of poor people and people of color. People who aren't getting a better shake. Nothing wrong with that, he shouldn't be ostracized for it."

Hodges' new book hopes to reach younger, impressionable readers.

"If we're not engaging, if we're not stimulating thought, then it's a chance we're going to lose them."

He encourages past and present athletes to be involved, and continue important conversations.

"You can't tell anyone to be conscious, you can't tell anybody how to spend their money. I think the biggest thing is you hope to see it, when it happens, you applaud it and support it as best you can."

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