LeBron James speaks out on recent police shootings, says 'all lives matter' & explains why he'll stand for anthem
September 27, 2016 at 7:40 am
This season, James told reporters that he would not be taking a knee during the national anthem and also highlighted the confidence and bravery of Kaepernick's right to protest. He remarked:
Citing that standing for the national anthem is a part of what he believes in was worth raising a few eyebrows from some, for James has previously spoken up and demonstrated resistance towards attitudes and actions that share the same stance Kaepernick is fighting to combat. As a supporter of the movement, leading the way of igniting the NBA players outrage following the murder of Trayvon Martin and investing his money into the advancement of black students, many began to consider what the motivations were behind James' remarks. However, he soon followed up in sharing how the personal experience of being a father to his black children is tough in today's society
"It's a scary ass situation that if my son calls me and said that he's been pulled over, that I'm not that confident that things are going to go well, that my son is going to return home."
He ended his statements by saying that in order to find answers to the issues we are facing, "we have to keep the conversation going. I'm not saying that all police are bad because they are not. I'm not saying that all kids are great and all, adults are great, because they are not. But at the end of the day, all lives do matter and it's not just about black or white. It's everyone."
As the news broke out of the NBA all star's press conference, sides were drawn as to whether James was motivated by the money or the movement with his all lives matter stance. To say that some folks were disappointed is an understatement
That Lebron statement was like when your friend is driving and swears he knows where he's going but y'all pass the same monument three times— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) September 26, 2016
LeBron said that "not all cops are bad" & added "all lives matter." Never let ur money put a band aid over social issues. Its bigger than u— Bdell (@Bdell1014) September 26, 2016
There were also just as many willing to support LeBron for the belief that his actions have spoken louder than his words
LeBron is one of the few "superstars" who have taken a stand against injustices in society. So to label him a sell out or coon is wrong.— IG: @ItsMikeHill (@ItsMikeHill) September 26, 2016
LeBron James just donated $41.8M to the University of Akron in Ohio, giving 1,100 kids a full 4-yr scholarship but y'all calling him a coon.— NUFF$AID (@nuffsaidNY) September 26, 2016
But it was the folks examining the issue from both sides who addressed the significance of accountability, and the realization that although James may have been coming from a place of peace, his statements were problematic and harmful to the movement and black folks as a whole
LeBron led the charge on the Trayvon Martin NBA protest & the fact he's been very outspoken for so long. I can't cancel him off one comment— Kodak Kaepernick (@DrTGIF) September 26, 2016
it's ok to be proud of Lebron for all the positive he's done for the community. it's also ok to hold him accountable for his statements— Tatiana King Jones (@TatianaKing) September 26, 2016
We can applaud Lebron for all hes done and still criticize his statements.— #BeatOKST #BeatMinny (@HumbleTeej) September 26, 2016
These aren't mutually exclusive
It is a fact that LeBron James' previous actions have proved to align with causes that the movement continues to fight to affirm. But, with his statements coming out at the same time as we watch Colin Kaepernick, a black athlete, take an unapologetically black stance to uplift black people and protest the injustice against black lives, it calls into question of how far one is willing to go and at what cost? Athletes with far less than James have sacrificed their income and livelihood to take a stand against the systemic racism and injustice of all black people and whether one believes money is the motivation or not, James' stance is a reflection of some of the ideas we are faced with everyday, from people who look like us and from those who don't. Until the validity of black lives is no longer called into question, it's our duty to fight for all of us, even those whose privilege blinds them to the fact that all lives can't matter until all black ones do too.
Do you think Lebron's comments were taken out of context? Watch the video and tell us what you think in the comments