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Cole Aldrich

In the NBA, foreign players try to understand social issues

Andrew Bogut grew up in a richly diverse area of Melbourne, Australia, and has estimated that he went to school with people from nearly 100 different nationalities.

He has fondly referred to his home as a tolerant and inclusive community, one largely devoid of racial tension that many of his NBA teammates faced growing up in the United States. But Bogut and other international players have been on the periphery, if not part of, discussions in locker rooms as their teammates address social issues like police brutality and racial profiling, concerns that prompted Colin Kaepernick to begin kneeling during the nation anthem in September.

When Bogut reported to training camp with...