Indian farmers’ protest is gathering support among US celebrities, now spreading to football and basketball stars, past and present.
“Happy to share that I’ve donated $10,000 to provide medical assistance to the farmers in need in India to help save lives during these times,” wrote John Sherman “Juju” Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburg Steelers, a major National Football League team, on Twitter, hash-tagged #FarmersProtest. “I hope we can prevent any additional life from being lost.”
Smith-Schuster’s Twitter account has 1.1 million followers and his post about the donation had received nearly 50,000 likes and 24,000 retweets. The 6,000 replies were an extension of the battle between those calling for India to be left alone and those supporting more attention for the protesting farmers.
“Should be talking about this!” wrote Kyle Kuzma of the LA Lakers, on Twitter, with a link to a CNN report on the protests. He has 1 million followers on the social media platform. LA Lakers won the 2020 National Basketball Association championship, the team’s 17th title, tying Boston Celtics for the all-time best.
Kuzma also hashtagged the post #FarmersProtest, which was being used by celebs around the world, including the Swedish environmentalist Great Thunberg and pop star Rihanna.
As did Baron Davies, a former player of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, “Are we going to address what’s happening in India ? Let my good people free !! Unfair to those who struggle, the farmers provide a way of living and they need to have a right to a way of life. Join me and let’s bring awareness. We all in this together!” Davies has 1 million followers.
These stars join a growing number of celebrities worldwide weighing in with their support of the protesting farmers, including Meena Harris, a lawyer and niece of the Indian-origin US vice-president Kamla Harris. She has tweeted and retweeted posts supportive of the farmers.
John Cusack, a Hollywood star, and Hasan Minhaj, a comedian of Indian descent, have also joined in. Cusack began tweeting in support of the farmers much before Rihanna and Thunberg turned it into an international trend. The star of films like Being John Malkovich and Runaway Jury knows author Arundhati Roy well, and along with her met Edward Snowden, the fugitive American whistleblower, in Moscow in 2015.