Worthing Thunder guard Ishmael Fontaine says he ‘is proud to be part of Basketball England and British Basketball’ as the sport comes together to oppose racism.
Speaking on the Timeout podcast - see below - Fontaine tells of his experiences of racism in his career and life, his views on the Black Lives Matter Movement and what he would like to see done to help eradicate discrimination in society.
Having suffered discrimination during his career, including being repeatedly stopped searched by police on the way to basketball training or being spat at when playing in Germany, Fontaine is pleased to see the solidarity shown in recent weeks as support for the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow.
And he has outlined some of what he would like to see moving forward.
“I want British Basketball and Basketball England to celebrate their black players, celebrate players of all races in their teams and celebrate diversity,” he told Basketball England’s Mark Jones.
“I know right now it’s a dark time and we have to deal with the racism issue and I’m really proud to be part of an organisation like Basketball England who are listening to us and standing with us, retweeting what we are saying and sharing resources.
“But when it’s applicable, celebrate black players.
“What people might start getting now is that black players, where they had to get to, to be able to represent their country.
“Where they’ve come from, what they’ve had to deal with, can be different to what maybe a white player has had to deal with."
He added: “I would love Basketball England to be an educational tool from a black player standpoint so young black players can see where they can get to playing in this country.”
You can listen to the full podcast below, which also includes Fontaine’s influences in his career and impact on the clubs he’s played for in Germany and England.
All episodes of Timeout are available below on Spotify and iTunes.
Photo - Luke Simcock