Following the example of Colin Kaepernick, Kobe Paras has offered to help raise funds for the legal fees of protesters arrested by the police.
Hearing of fellow University of the Philippines students being apprehended during a rally this morning in UP’s Cebu campus, the outspoken athlete took to Twitter to express his solidarity with the activists.
“To all my people there who got arrested[,] [t]hank you standing up for what is right,” he wrote.
He ended his tweet by promising, “We will raise money to bail those affected!”
Paras has been using his Twitter page to protest against racial injustice in the US and the pending anti-terrorism bill in the Philippines. "I will NEVER shut up and just dribble," he declared in a tweet today.
Fellow Fighting Maroons Jun Manzo and Paul Desiderio echoed Paras' sentiments. "#ReleaseCebu7," said the former guard, who played his final game in UP last November.
Desiderio, who now plays for Blackwater Elite after a stellar run with the Maroons, tweeted, "Iskolar ng Bayan kahit kailan! #JunkTerrorBill #ReleaseCebu7 "
He has since locked his account.
The “Cebu 7”, as they are being called on social media, were arrested by the police today in a demonstration against the proposed anti-terrorism bill at their university.
According to the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP-Cebu), demonstrators were met by police in “full gear”. At least seven activists who remained after the dispersal were taken into custody, allegedly for violating the standing quarantine prohibitions against mass gatherings.
Today, the PNP urged activists to conduct their protest activities at home or via online channels.
"In this time of public health crisis, the safety of human lives is paramount,” said police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
With social and political issues exploding on both sides of the globe, athletes have been at the forefront of protests and dissent. In the United States, players like Stephen Curry and Jordan Clarkson have joined Black Lives Matters marches, while a large majority of players took to social media to decry racial injustice.
In the Philippines, a handful of athletes, including Greg Slaughter and Jack Animam, have joined calls to junk the anti-terrorism legislation that is awaiting President Duterte’s signature before formally becoming law.