Lonnie Walker's new haircut may leave the Spurs guard unrecognizable to many, but it was done for an incredibly personal reason.
After streaming his haircut live on Instagram, Walker detailed the motive behind the move on Twitter. As a victim of sexual abuse as a child, Walker felt it was time to trim his hair and embrace himself once again.
In reference to the long hair he sported throughout his NBA career, Walker stated, "It was a cloaking device for me." Particularly, his hair was a response to the sexual abuse he faced as a child, representing "something that I can control ... And it gave me confidence."
Since that event, Walker has grown and destroyed the demons of the past, saying, "I have found peace and internal happiness through this journey god willingly." After forgiving those who wronged him, Walker knew it was time to move forward, with the haircut serving as a visual indicator.
"Me cutting my hair was more than a cut. My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurity's [sp] that I felt the world wasn't ready for ... I have shed my skin mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually."
Walker's story speaks volumes on multiple levels, not only in his honesty in divulging dark memories of his past, but in finding the strength to overcome them.
For many it may just be a haircut, but for Walker, it is so much more, signifying a new man who is more than the troubles of his past and is ready to embrace whatever lies ahead.