Our good friend Masai Ujiri - formerly of the Denver Nuggets and now tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding the Toronto Raptors - has joined the chorus of world leaders condemning the Nigerian separatist movement Boko Haram in the wake of their kidnapping of over 200 teenage girls. And by some accounts the number could be closer to 300.
The girls were kidnapped by the extremist Islamic group simply for trying to get an education, and the group is threatening to sell the girls into slavery. It should be noted that most Islamic groups around the world - even those considered to be on the fringes of radical Islam - are denouncing the kidnappings. For Ujiri, a native of northern Nigeria not far from where this tragic incident took place, this is personal.
In an op-ed written by Ujiri himself in today's Toronto Globe and Mail, Ujiri eloquently calls on the Nigerian government and the world community to respond and do so quickly:
... But we also need the world’s help. The mothers of these girls have done all they can to save their children – by capturing international attention. These women cannot mount a rescue operation. I urge the international community to join in the United States’ offer to aid in on-the-ground efforts to safely recover Nigeria’s missing children.
I encourage readers of this site to read Ujiri's op-ed and write to your congressional representatives (both in the house and the senate) and urge them to lend American support to the effort of rescuing these teenage girls. So you don't have to search for it, here are the contact forms of our federal officials who represent Colorado:
Senator Michael Bennett
Senator Mark Udall
Congresswoman Diana DeGette
Congressman Jared Polis
Congressman Ed Perlmutter
Congressman Mike Coffman
Congressman Cory Gardner
Congressman Doug Lamborn
Congressman Scott Tipton
Because while it's fun to talk NBA Playoffs this time of year, it's important to be mindful of what's really going on around the world.