“They are athletes, professional digital athletes,” Rick Fox said during an episode of  The View.  The 3 time NBA champion and Lakers alum, publicly acknowledged pro gamers as athletes, when he guested the The View two days ago. Fox passionately debated with the co-hosts of the show. “I think about what it took for me to become a professional athlete… took a lot of concentration, a lot of dedication, practice, preparation, stamina, and more,” Rick Fox said. “They’re (pro gamers) sponsored, they have careers, and make hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Fox stated. Fox also mentions that his son played an immense role in opening his eyes to professional gaming.

This is a giant leap towards legitimizing pro gamers and eSports — having an athlete, and not just any athlete, a three time championship winning athlete,  go to a televised forum such as The View and declare that they’re legitimate athletes, is a paramount event. A popular argument against pro gamers being actual athletes is that gamers don’t do what conventional athletes do, and Rick Fox just blew that out of the water.

Before the end of the segment, Fox also mentioned his upcoming live streamed video game culture show, House of Fox.

Times are changing– the government now granting visas to pro gamers, schools are now offering scholarships, and professional athletes are now endorsing it.

Watch the full segment below:

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