Spurs’ Patty Mills Raises Awareness for Australian Bushfires on Social Media
Patty Mills hadn’t posted anything to Instagram in nearly a week and had gone more than two weeks without tweeting. That all changed when the bushfires that have been ravaging the San Antonio Spurs guard’s home country of Australia reached a new crescendo heading into 2020. Since then, Patty has been busy sharing images from and information about the devastation with his more than 800,000 followers across his main social media accounts.
“This is our country, this is our land, this is our people that are being affected,” Patty told the San Antonio Express-News.
The 31-year-old Canberra native has been in touch with people back in Australia’s capital, and has used his platform to relay critical information about the situation to both victims of the fires and those looking to help.
“Being over here in America and Texas, there is a little bit of a helpless feeling,” he said, “but I’m trying to do all I can to play my part and help a country that is struggling right now.”
The crisis has reportedly forced thousands of evacuations and claimed 25 human lives—as well as the lives of close to half a billion wild animal lives—since the fires first broke out in September.
These bushfires are already the most catastrophic on record in Australia, with close to 20 million acres burned, and could rage on for many more weeks and months, with the continent’s summer just starting. The results have led Patty to speak out about the role that anthropogenic climate change has caused in worsening crises like these.
“That is where I stand in terms of being able to raise awareness, that this isn’t just a problem within Australia,” he said. “You can relate this to many different things and obviously what has happened in California [last year] and also the year before. What has happened in the Amazon rainforest. There is definitely evidence there of things that you can’t ignore, and climate change is one of those things.”
Patty, though, isn’t alone among current NBA players raising awareness around this disaster. Among the nine active Australians in the Association, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova and Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles have also lent their support on social media.