Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo sent a message of gender equality during the opening of his new store at the Athens International Airport on Friday.
The Milwaukee Bucks superstar wore a shirt that said “Men of quality don’t fear equality” during the opening, where over 1,000 fans had gathered to see him.
Recently, Antetokounmpo sent another social message with his fashion choices while visiting France. While there, he was seen wearing a shirt that stated “Zero tolerance for racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, or any form of discrimination.”
The basketballer was accompanied by his brothers Alex, Francis, Thanasis, and their mother Veronica at the opening and signing event for his new store at the Athens Airport on Friday.
The store sells authentic merchandise from the brothers, called the “Antetokounbros,” who have become international superstars.
Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame hardship to reach NBA
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, has come to represent Greece in the US. Born of immigrant parents from Nigeria, the NBA star became a Greek citizen in 2013.
His parents, as illegal immigrants, could not easily find work, so Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Thanasis, helped by hawking watches, handbags, and sunglasses in the streets.
In 2007, Antetokounmpo started playing basketball, and in 2011, he joined his local team Filathlitikos. After a brief stint in Spain, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.
In 2013, Antetokounmpo stood between his parents on the court inside Bradley Center and gazed up at the ceiling, where the retired jerseys for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson hung in the rafters.
“Maybe in 15 years, 20 years,” the young man said, “maybe my name is up there next to Kareem, Oscar Robertson. I hope I’m there.”
The Greek star’s life story has been made into a film that will soon be released by Disney.
Even though he’s a global phenomenon, Giannis always keep a close bond with his brothers. The Greek Freak has been a constant spectator in the French LNB playoffs where together with Thanasis and Alex he cheers for his brother Kostas who plays for LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
“We may not have had any money, but we were together,” Giannis said in an interview earlier this month.
“And we’re together now: Kostas, Thanasis, Alex, Francis, my mother, our children. Everyone together – I like that.
“I’ve never been alone in my life. I’ve always had my brothers, my family, and I want that to continue.
“We all have this motto: ‘I am my father’s legacy.’
“I will say it again: my father did not have anything. He started, not from zero, but from minus zero.
“And we, who have achieved what we have achieved, cannot be idiots [and waste that achievement].
Together with his brother Thanasis, Giannis now plans to become an owner of two Costa Navarino Residences in the southern region of Greece.
“I actually don’t own a house in Athens. Instead, I’ll have a home here,” the Bucks forward talked about his decision. “I like being here – I have a good time, and my family is happy here. I like seeing the people closest to me happy: my mother walking on the beach, taking pictures…”
“I don’t know how to swim, but I am a sea person. I like going in, but only when I can touch the bottom,” Giannis joked.
Antetokounmpo is expected to help the Greek National Team in the upcoming EuroBasket 2022. The tournament starts on September 1st. Greece will face Estonia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Italy, and Croatia in Group C.
“My family and I, when we had nothing, we learned to survive on the streets. Then we adapted when we went to the NBA, and now we are adapting to where we are right now,” the Greek Freak said.
“We adjust, yet our principles remain the same. Sure, there are some all-time high moments, as well as some low moments.
“When I was young and we went from city to city selling things, that for me was an all-time high because I was with my brothers, in a car, playing, laughing, having fun.
“We didn’t feel it at the time, but now that one of my brothers is in France, the other in Athens, I get it.
“This has affected everything – regarding who I am, how I raise my kids, how I want to be as a player, as a businessman, everything.”