Reggie Bullock started down this path in 2014 when his sister, Mia Henderson — a transgender woman — was murdered. In the wake of that tragedy, the Mavericks’ wing has dedicated himself to fighting for increased visibility and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community, something he has done to honor her legacy.
Sunday, the NBA announced Bullock was the inaugural winner of the NBA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. With that, Bullock has selected Kinston Teens, a youth-led organization focused on community development and youth empowerment in his native Kinston, North Carolina, to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf.
“We are all one, and I believe love lies in everybody’s heart,” Bullock said. “It’s incredibly important to me as a cisgender athlete to stand in support of the trans and LGBTQ+ community.”
Really proud to see today’s players setting great examples congratulations@ReggieBullock35 for being a true leader on and off the court @NBA https://t.co/D6PPagPY5L
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) May 23, 2022
Bullock, a nine-year NBA veteran, signed as a free agent with the Mavericks last summer and quickly reached out to LGBTQ+ organizations in the Dallas area, including Abounding Prosperity, Dallas Southern Pride, House of Rebirth, The Black-Tie Dinner, the Resource Center and the Muhlashia Booker Foundation. Bullock has taken action to support of their work.
Bullock has lost two of his sisters, Henderson and Keiosha Moore, to gun violence, and has written on the topic at the Players Tribune. He also talked about it during his time with the Lakers.
“My sister was the backbone of my family. … My sister was the one that pretty much was my guardian.”
Following the tragic murder of his transgender sister, Mia Henderson, @ReggieBullock35 has dedicated his life and his platform to standing up for LGBTQ+ rights. #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/BD5tridsLl
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 28, 2019
He has turned unimaginable personal tragedy into a mission to help others not feel that same pain and loss.
Bullock was selected as the winner from among five finalists and was chosen by a committee headed by Abdul-Jabbar himself. The four other finalists for the award were: Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr., Minnesota Timberwolves center-forward Karl-Anthony Towns and Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Each will receive $25,000 donations from the NBA to social justice organizations of their choice.