NBA player Reggie Bullock has spoken about the murder of his transgender sister.
Bullock, who plays for the Detroit Pistons, has become one of the most vocal voices for LGBT+ equality in the NBA in the wake of his sister Mia Henderson’s 2014 murder.
Speaking to Vice, he said: “I lost a sister that was a part of the LGBT+ community.
“I didn’t know how many lives get taken within that community until my sister’s life was taken. Looking at the numbers for what goes on with the transgender community, and particularly African-Americans, it’s a super high [murder] rate.
“When she passed, it was a slow process for me, trying to recognise her death and understand what exactly went on.”
Reggie Bullock is educating himself about LGBT+ issues
Bullock continued: “When I was a kid, I really didn’t know too much about it. The beginning of my high school is when she started dressing in female clothes.
“I didn’t know, I just knew she was trying to be something else. That’s all I thought in my head, she was just trying to be something else.
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“I would still call my sister the name she was born with, because I wasn’t knowledgeable of it. Once I became knowledgeable, I started addressing her in a different way – as Mia Henderson, the name she wanted to go by.”
The player now regularly appears at events promoting LGBT+ equality within sport.
He added: “I’m still not all the way there yet, but I’m trying to get educated on it and use my platform to do whatever I can do to save lives and bring equality.”
Gay former NBA player Jason Collins praised Bullock’s engagement on the issue, adding: “It’s credit to him that he’s using that pain and the platform he has to speak up on these issues. We need more athletes to speak up to change the culture of sport.”
Mia Henderson’s killer still remains unknown
No-one has ever been convicted for Mia Henderson’s violent murder in Baltimore in 2014.
A man was charged with the crime in 2015, but was acquitted on all counts.
The Detroit Pistons player previously said he wants to play in a rainbow-coloured jersey.
“Just woke up out a dream and thought about playing in a [rainbow] colored jersey to incorporate #LGBTQ into sports,” he tweeted.
Bullock then tagged the National Basketball Association directly, urging the league to “make it happen in [his] lifetime.”