Detroit Pistons forward Reggie Bullock opened up publicly about the death of his transgender sister Friday on the Colin Cowherd show.
Bullock said he learned a lot about being yourself and staying strong from his brother, Kevin Long, who eventually transitioned into Mia Henderson. The comments about Mia begin at the 7:42 mark of the interview.
"He just lived his self, taught me how to be myself, taught me how to take care of the family and just be yourself," Bullock said. "He was happy being who he was. He wasn't worried about how others felt about him, and a person that can isolate the whole world out and not care about other people's feelings is a strong person."
Henderson was killed in July 2014 after recently moving from North Carolina to Baltimore. Bullock, then a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, was leaving the locker room when he noticed missed calls from his sister and a text from a Baltimore district attorney.
The hardest part, Bullock said, was that the police couldn't identify the body because it had been so badly beaten.
Bullock has referenced the death of his sister and thanked well-wishers and the police who eventually solved the murder, but he's never talked about the incident in detail before the interview on The Herd.
Watching the interview, you can tell it's a painful story for Bullock to tell, but throughout he reiterates the strength he learned from his older sister. He said that while he's heard all kinds of jokes during his time in locker rooms, it is not something he would ever laugh at.
"It touches me," he said. "Never would I laugh, never would I do any of those types of things about people who go different ways in life."
The entire interview is definitely worth a watch as Bullock talks about bouncing around the NBA, the struggle providing for his family, being coached by Stan Van Gundy and his "team-first" approach as he approaches free agency.
Finally, a brief reminder. This is a tragedy that we try and learn the best lessons from, and not get weighed down by anything negative or combative or political. It's not partisan and it's not about what pronouns anyone is supposed to use. It's about a member of the Pistons losing the person closest to him in his life.
No, this incident and others like it do not happen in a vacuum. But let's not lose sight of our best selves when discussing issues such as this, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.