San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV has revealed the real reason why he cut his trademark hair, saying in an Instagram post that it became a “cloaking device” after he endured abuse and rape as a kid. Now, he finally feels like he can move on.

The 21-year-old began growing his hair in the 5th grade, which has now become known as “the pineapple” in the NBA. He shared the emotional moment of cutting his hair on IG Live.

“During the summer of my 5th grade, year I was around more family,” he wrote on IG. “I was sexually harassed, raped, abused, I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what is what.”

He continued, "I had a mindset that my hair was something that I can control. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine.”

Walker says that he spent his time during the coronavirus pandemic reflecting on his life, writing, “I began to truly look at myself in the mirror and see who I truly was even behind closed doors.” He says he was able to find forgiveness for those who wronged him “because it’s dead weight.”

“Me cutting my hair was more than a cut,” Walker added. “My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurities [sic] that I felt the world wasn’t ready for. But now better then ever. Out with old. In with the new. I have shed my skin mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.”

“Life will always be hard. Gotta play with the cards you’re dealt with and try and make a winning hand. And if you lose. It’s never a lost. It’s a lesson.”

Walker’s agent, George Langberg also issued a statement on the Spurs’ player’s behalf, telling ESPN, “It is his hope that by opening up, it will help anyone who reads his story that may have been sexually abused in the past, or anyone who may be going through something similar now, to know that they are not alone.”

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