Video courtesy: USA Swimming
In the above video, two-time Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones talks about what it’s like to be a role model in the black community.
In addition to talking about specifically what he’s doing to improve water safety among young African-Americans, he also shares a story from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. At those Games, the United States basketball team somewhat famously attended several swimming sessions to see the history that was being made by Michael Phelps when he went a perfect 8-for-8.
But Jones recalls a moment when he met LeBron James, one of the world’s greatest basketball players, realized that there was a black swimmer on the team, and, according to Jones, said “oh snap, y’all got a brother on the team!”
Jones says that this was a big moment in the shaping of his cultural conversation regarding the culture in the black community and their attitudes toward the sport.