Throughout his entire career as an athlete, LeBron James' decisions, interests and motivations have been praised, scrutinized and met with a fair amount of criticism – no matter what the cause. As one of the most influential and successful athletes in the world, his opinions hold power and are intentionally sought out to address issues surrounding the climate of the sports world and of other ideas as well. On Monday, during a press conference for the Cleveland Cavaliers media day, James was asked a number of questions regarding the upcoming season. But, his sentiments regarding the articulation of resistance of Colin Kaepernick and the ongoing police violence and murders of black people struck a chord with many.

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:

"I'm all in favor of anyone, athlete or non-athlete, being able to express what they believe in in a peaceful manner. That's exactly what Colin Kaepernick is doing, and I respect that. I think you guys know when I'm passionate about something, I speak up on it. Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do. That's who I am. That's what I believe in, but that doesn't mean I don't respect and don't agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing. You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he's doing it in the most peaceful way I've ever seen someone do something."


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."
Photo: Bravo
Photo: Bravo


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



There were also just as many willing to support LeBron for the belief that his actions have spoken louder than his words

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



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


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