Kawhi Leonard on Why He's Participating in #BuyBlack Friday: 'You Are Supporting Black Communities'

Kawhi Leonard on Why He's Participating in #BuyBlack Friday: 'You Are Supporting Black Communities'

Kawhi Leonard will host a segment for Facebook's new campaign #BuyBlack Friday, which is hoping to encourage consumers to #BuyBlack throughout the entire holiday season.

As millions across the country hit the internet to snag good holiday deals on Friday, Kawhi Leonard is hoping to direct shoppers to Black-owned businesses.

The 29-year-old NBA player will host a live segment for Facebook's weekly #BuyBlack Friday show this week. #BuyBlack Friday — a holiday initiative spearheaded by two Facebook employees — is "focused on harnessing the energy of the year’s biggest retail day to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses hardest hit by Covid through the entire holiday season," according to a press release.

"Supporting Black-owned business means you are supporting Black communities and creating new jobs," Leonard tells PEOPLE ahead of his Friday appearance.

Leonard's own company, natural energy drink and pre-workout powder company X2 Performance, will be the focus of his segment.

"The segment focuses on why I got involved with X2 Performance and the value the products have brought to my training," Leonard says, noting that he's a "proud equity partner" in the company. "The products have a patented formulation that delivers sustained energy with clean ingredients. I sit on the board and serve as the face of the brand."

He tells PEOPLE, "Visibility is important. If you can see it, you can be it. I hope that my work with X2 can inspire young people to live their dreams."

The Los Angeles Clippers star — who is outspoken about social justice issues and uses his platform, often, for activism, says that those interested in supporting Black-owned businesses should do so "throughout the year, not just for one day."

This past NBA season was, of course, an odd one, as teams spent July through October in a bubble setting in Orlando, Florida. Leonard admits it was difficult to be away from his family, and being restrcited to just the Walt Disney World campus.

The NBA will return to a more regular format for this upcoming season, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — a move which Leonard says he has "no concerns" about.

"It’s basketball, but unfortunately without the fans," he notes, adding, "We can’t wait to welcome them back."

In the time until the 2020-2021's season start, Leonard has been enjoying his downtime with his family and two kids.

"[We're] really just trying to play some home games, table games with family and friends, and just trying to stay safe, pretty much. We’ve got a tabletop game, Sequence," he tells PEOPLE. "We play cards, spades and with the kids, we do puzzles, riddles, things like that. It’s been fun."

Watch Leonard's #BuyBlack Friday segment on Friday at 2 p.m. EST on Facebook's Lift Black Voices page.

 

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