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Donovan Mitchell says he wants to address critical race theory with Utah lawmakers

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell continues to work as a leader in the NBA Social Justice Coalition.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up before playing the LA Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Last week, Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell was a leading voice in a GQ Magazine story by Matt Sullivan detailing how the NBA’s Social Justice Coalition — created last year during the league’s bubble in Orlando and a group Mitchell is a leader in — has been working to start making an imprint in Washington, D.C.

In the story, Mitchell says he would be willing to talk to Utah lawmakers about the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Earlier this month, the Utah State Board of Education passed rules regarding “what concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion cannot be taught in public schools.”

Mitchell said in the GQ story, “It’s one thing to tweet it — and I’m gonna continue to tweet it — but being able to be on the phone and be on these calls with people who do know these things,” Mitchell said, “means being able to have an impact, myself.”

Other items from Mitchell in the story:

  • Mitchell said he was “kind of sick” and felt “helpless” after the cops who killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville were not given any punishment for it, only for firing into a neighboring apartment. “The bullets that missed are what he was held accountable for — that, for me, was really shocking,” Mitchell said.
  • He said he recognized that social justice efforts done in the bubble last year weren’t going to have an immediate impact, but he hopes it was the start of something that will be positive.
  • Of the Social Justice Coalition’s first virtual meeting, he said, “Just to be in a room — or a virtual room — of thinkers,” Mitchell recalled of the coalition’s first meeting in March, “that’s what I was excited about.”