MIKE JONES - Dallas Sidekicks
1. What makes you most proud about being a Black man?
All the history of being an African American and my roots.
2. What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, it means, education. It’s a movement. There's a momentum behind this movement, and not just for Black lives, in terms of equality, but for all individuals. As far as this month, Black History should be an educational period. Not limited to just this month, but always.
3. Who was your greatest influence/role model growing up?
For me it’s been two people. Will Smith and Denzel Washington.
4. What is one thing you wish people knew about being a Black athlete?
I wish people knew no matter what is said and what we go through, we are American. It doesn't matter what your background is and where you come from, if you have dreams and goals, that's all that matters as an athlete. As a Black athlete, I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.
5. What barriers have you had to overcome to reach this point in your career?
It doesn’t matter the barriers. There’s been many forms of racism, slurs, and life-threatening experiences I’ve had to overcome. I am here because I’m blessed.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We celebrate African Americans and Black athletes as we enter February, not just to recognize Black History Month, but to celebrate Black History always, knowing there’s always an opportunity to be great, no matter the circumstance. They show us how to learn from our experiences and look positively to the future, whether it’s in the game, our communities, our culture, or within ourselves.