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Etan Thomas
Etan Thomas is More Than An Athlete. He's been called a "gentle giant." A "rebounder with a cause." Now the world can add published author to that list! With the release of his first collection of poems, Thomas defies the stereotype of the A-political athlete, and plants his roots in his budding literary career. With the conviction of a Bill Russell, and the poetic finesse of Muhammad Ali, Thomas takes on controversial topics, such as, The Death Penalty, the GOP, racism and abortion.

Born in Harlem and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thomas' childhood was surrounded by books on the civil rights movement, politics and the 1960's. He was greatly influenced by his mother, Deborah Thomas, a schoolteacher who traveled with Thomas and his younger brother back home to Harlem every summer, attending plays and poetry readings.

This young, fiery poet approaches his work fearlessly,writing in the strong, historical lineage of his literary elders, Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, and in the tradition of contemporary poets, Ras Baraka, Saul Williams, Tony Medina, and Asha Bandele.

Thomas graduated from Syracuse University as a two-time Big East defensive player of the year and the school's all time leader in block shots. Picked by Dallas in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft, he
eventually ended up playing for the Washington Wizards, where he became impressed with the political activism surrounding him. He has been invited to speak at the Congressional Black Caucus and has
worked heavily with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a vocal opponent of the death penalty.

Thomas has a passion for young people, speaking at community organizations, high schools and prisons across the country. He has performed alongside Nikki Giovanni, Edward Hirsch, The Last Poets, Kevin Powell and others. Refreshingly humble and remarkably talented, Thomas is determined to change the face of poetry, politics and professional sports with his own brand of legacy and an honest sense of
urgency that resonates off every page of his first collection. More Than An Athlete is more than a book of poetry; it's a statement about his generation not being confined to a box, a definition, or a label. Some play ball, and some write poems. Etan Thomas has mastered the art of both. Who's got next? Etan's newest book is Voices of the Future.

Entries by Etan Thomas

An Open Letter to Charles Barkley

(63) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:16 AM

Dear Charles,

Let me say first that you are among the basketball greats. I remember rooting for you in the '93 Championship Series against the Bulls along with one of my hometown heroes Richard Dumas. You have achieved a level of success on the court that will be cemented in...

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Athletes Take a Stand for Mike Brown

(42) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 5:01 PM

I cannot tell you how many TV and radio shows in the last couple of months have invited me to come on to criticize current athletes for not speaking out on crucial issues that affect our society as a whole.

They tried to get me to publicly bad-mouth Dwight Howard...

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Has Israel Become What It Has Hated the Most? 30 Questions

(8) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 12:10 PM

1. Seventy Palestinians were killed on Sunday alone. The Palestinian death toll has risen to over 500 and, as reported by the Washington Post, "72 percent of those killed were civilians, not militants, and include a large number of women and children." The number of Palestinians...

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The Fatherhood Movement

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 4:10 PM


Since the release of my book, Fatherhood Rising To The Ultimate Challenge, and my CD, Fatherhood Words Of Passion, I have traveled the country to encourage young people that they can be anything they want to be in life,...

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25 Questions About Michael Sam, the NFL and Homophobia

(153) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 9:25 AM

1. Is there a high level of disgust, criticism, hate, or anger that has been produced by Michael Sam being picked as the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL?

2. Many have described his arrival in the NFL as the equivalent, or even...

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The Clippers Players Were Far From Cowards in Handling the Donald Sterling Situation

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 5:17 PM

After the racist comments by disgraced NBA CEO Donald Sterling became public, many throughout the media world and on various social networks took the Clippers players to task for what they viewed was an "inadequate gesture" and "meaningless response."

Vicious and uninformed attacks began to flood the...

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Donald Sterling's Long History of Racism

(73) Comments | Posted April 26, 2014 | 5:33 PM

Is anyone really surprised by the alleged recorded statements of Donald Sterling to his girlfriend? Hasn't it been well-documented that he has made racist comments such as these multiple times in the past?

TMZ has released an alleged recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling going...

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It's Time for Universities to Pay Up and Stop Exploiting Their 'Student Athletes'

(163) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 6:09 PM


Recently, Bill Maher tweeted that "March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on -- making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people."

Although there are some parallels, college athletes do receive scholarships and are not...

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George Zimmerman Is Not a Celebrity, He Is a Murderer

(57) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 5:45 PM

Many will argue that because George Zimmerman was in fact acquitted by a jury of his peers, he should no longer be looked upon as a murderer. However, in a justice system where what you can prove often outweighs what actually happened, it is more than understandable why many will...

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Celebrities Inspire a Fatherhood Movement

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 4:59 PM


Since the release of my book Fatherhood Rising To The Ultimate Challenge last year, I have traveled the country to encourage young people who they can be anything they want to be in life no matter what their circumstances.

It always amazes...

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Forest Whitaker Falsely Accused of Shoplifting: How Do I Explain Racism to My Son?

(73) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 10:10 AM

Normally I do not let my seven-year-old son Malcolm watch the news. My wife and I believe that it is just too early in his young life to expose him to the complexities of a complicated world. The constant barrage of violence, murder and other inappropriate material can poison the...

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An Open Letter to RG III

(58) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 9:09 AM

Dear Robert:

A very upset 7-year-old could hardly sleep after the game the other night. My son, Malcolm, is a huge fan of yours and he was upset at the image of his favorite player in pain as Fox Sports replayed your knee injury over and over during the Redskins'...

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Would the GOP Rather See President Obama Fail Than America Succeed?

(37) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 1:51 PM

I had the honor last week of attending a historic gathering of African-American leaders in Washington devoted to address the "state of black America." More than 60 of America's leading civil rights and community leaders gathered to discuss key issues in the black community as the nation prepares...

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15 Questions About the Lakers Head Coach Circus

(9) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 4:56 PM

1. It was reported that Mitch Kupchak called Phil Jackson in the middle of the night (after telling him that he had until Monday to make a decision) and told him that when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers you will -- dramatic pause and Maury Povich...

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Fighting Voter Suppression in Florida With Operation Lemonade

(3) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 4:45 PM

I had the honor of being part of an amazing effort last weekend.

The Voter Engagement Tour in Miami "Operation Lemonade"; Souls to the Polls with Bishop Victor Curry, Rev Al Sharpton, Congressman Kendrick Meeks, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, the SEIU 1199 and Florida Region and many more. All of...

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Donald Trump: The Disrespect of President Obama Continues

(389) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 9:08 PM

Donald Trump stooped to a new level Wednesday, one that is surprising even for him. With his latest publicity stunt, not only has he embarrassed himself, but he has further added to a long list of disrespect toward the President of The United States.

This week, Trump vowed to open...

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Mr. President, It's Time to Come Out Swinging

(16) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 8:42 PM

I've been a loyal supporter of President Barack Obama dating back to before he was sworn in as a senator in '05. I remember vividly the very same day then-President George Bush declared war on Iraq on Oct. 2, 2002, then community organizer Barack Obama addressed the first high-profile anti-war...

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13 Relationship Tips for Women

(19) Comments | Posted October 14, 2012 | 3:58 PM

Below are 13 relationship tips for women, in no particular order:

1. If you are going to interrupt the game or a peaceful sleep to "talk," there really needs to be a good reason.

2. The worst thing to do to an innocent man is accuse him.


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Chicago Teachers Shouldn't Have Had to Strike

(318) Comments | Posted September 16, 2012 | 5:47 PM

Maybe it's because my mother was a teacher for the Tulsa public school system for 27 years, but I feel connected to the teachers striking in Chicago. I remember seeing her struggle to teach in an oversized classroom with outdated books and no air conditioning. Maybe that's why I get...

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Politics and Athletes: They Do Mix After All

(31) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 2:38 PM

etan vince

Now that they occupy a position where they can be more than symbols of achievement, where they can actually serve their communities in vital and tangible ways, while also addressing the power imbalance within their own from a position of greater strength, they seem most...

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