Growing up, starting guard for the University of Wisconsin Badgers, Bronson Koenig found himself struggling with his identity. Koenig said, “To white people, I’m Native American, and to my Native family, I’m white. So, it’s kind of hard to deal with those identity issues growing up and not knowing who exactly I am.” However, it was on the basketball court where he developed his identity. As a member of the Ho-Chunk nation, a federally recognized tribe, Koenig realized that he could use his status on the basketball court to promote activism. This past summer, Koenig also visited North Dakota to support the protests against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline that would run near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and through potential burial sites. He also hosted a basketball clinic for kids.Like Colin Kaepernick, Koenig wanted to use his social status as a tool for social change.  Koenig and his teammates have earned the support of their head coach, Greg Gard who said, “I really applaud them for what they’ve done and the stance they’ve taken. I’m just proud of how they’ve been able to take their college experience and be able to develop into something way more than just basketball.”


2 responses »

  1. carlywinant says:

    I think the idea of using “social status as a tool for social change” is really important. If you’re well known and have the ability to reach large amounts of people, using that to speak on social justice issues and get a strong message across has the potential to make a real difference.

  2. olivia klugman says:

    social status is a really important part of someone’s positionality, and I think for well-known public figures, it is starting to seem as if they have a duty to utilize this positionality to promote their beliefs and organize those who respect them.

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