Cultural Fluidity in Sports

Photo labeled for reuse. Photo credit: Keith Allison courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When looking at cultural fluidity, you don’t have to look far to find many big-name sports superstars that fit the mold.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant catches the basketball as Gary Neal places his hand on his back.
Photo labeled for reuse. Photo credit: Keith Allison courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Kobe Bryant, whom we tragically lost in early 2020, was one of the biggest names in the NBA, and also led the way of bringing cultural fluidity to sports since he was a Third Culture Kid (TCK) himself. 

During his childhood, Bryant moved to Italy, and was immersed in their culture right away. He learned the Italian language, and this is where he claimed to harden his very famous “Mamba Mentality” which he carried throughout his NBA career. 

Bryant left an impact on people and sports stars across the world still to this day.  He left a strong impact on the Australian basketball team by giving them a speech about the Mamba Mentality, inspiring them to stay strong through the hard parts in life. 

Nikola Jokic

Another huge sports superstar that is powering forward cultural validity in sports is Nikola Jokic. He is an NBA superstar from Eastern Europe, Serbia to be exact, who immigrated to the United States after he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2014.

Since coming to the U.S., he has broken many records as well as given back to the community in Denver, Colo., U.S.A. reaching people of all walks of life.  

Overall since coming into the NBA in 2014, Nikola Jokic has stood as a role model for immigrants, showing them they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

Nikola Jokic (via Denver Nuggets Instagram)

Younghoe Koo

Lastly, the person to talk about is Younghoe Koo on the Atlanta Falcons NFL American football team. He took the league by storm by being one of the best kickers. He is an immigrant from South Korea, and has lived and played football here for years.

In the wake of the tragic and senseless killings of Asian-Americans in the United States in recent years, Younghoe became one of the biggest #StopAsianHate campaign spokespersons. He had an impact by being able to go on live television and use his status to plead to stop the mindless violence. 

Younghoe has also started the Gold House which is built on three pillars: unity, representation, and success. The Gold House is a “premier non profit collective of Asian & Pacific Islander founders, creative voices, and leaders.”

He is leading the way in giving people a voice as well as helping promote the cultures of the Asian, and Pacific Islanders. 

Younghoe Koo (via Atlanta Falcons Instagram)

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