LeBron James Calls Black Lives Matter A Lifestyle, Demands Arrest Of Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor
The NBA superstar used his media availability to focus on Taylor's death.
July 24, 2020 at 6:09 pm
Lakers’ LeBron James on Breonna Taylor: “We want the cops arrested.” pic.twitter.com/TmMSYgoJQi
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 24, 2020
"First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that's going on with that situation. We want the cops arrested who committed that crime," James told reporters, referencing Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove.
Only Hankison has been fired from the police force since the three barged into Taylor's apartment and shot her to death in March.
Protesters in Louisville and across the country continue to protest in honor of Taylor, calling for government officials in Kentucky to take some kind of action against the officers.
Throughout his discussion with reporters, James spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement and what it meant to him and other Black players. This week the NBA restarted the season in Orlando that was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
In honor of the recent protests, the league has painted "Black lives matter" on the court. Multiple players have refused to discuss games with reporters, focusing on the demonstrations and the recent killings of Taylor, Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and others instead, according to ESPN.
"A lot of people kind of use this analogy, talking about Black Lives Matter as a movement. It's not a movement. When you're Black, it's not a movement. It's a lifestyle. We sit here and say it's a movement, and, OK, how long is this movement going to last? 'Don't stop the movement.' No, this is a walk of life. When you wake up and you're Black, that is what it is," James said after the Lakers played the Dallas Mavericks.
"It shouldn't be a movement. It should be a lifestyle. This is who we are. I don't like the word 'movement' because, unfortunately, in America and in society, there ain't been no damn movement for us. There ain't been no movement," he added.
The 35-year-old superstar wrote "#Justice4BreonnaT" on his sneakers ahead of his team's first game and spoke about Taylor's death and the conduct of Kentucky officials.
"Us as the NBA, and us as the players, and me as one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for it and we want justice. That's what it's all about. What's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. And this is a wrong situation that's going on in my eyes and in a lot of other eyes, not only here in America but I bet in the world as well," James said.
In widely publicized remarks, he said it was appalling that so little had been done to address Taylor's killing simply because it was not caught on video.
"I mean, is that what we need to see, a video of Breonna being killed to realize how bad the situation is?" James asked reporters.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 24, 2020
"It's just heartbreaking, man. You guys don't understand. Unless you're a person of color, you guys don't understand. I understand that you might feel for it, but you could never truly understand what it is to be Black in America," James said. "If you could just sit there and talk to someone, look at someone eye-to-eye and say how you feel, no matter if they like it or not, you can respect them."
"Somebody might not agree. … But if I can look you dead in your eye and you can look back at me and say, 'Listen, to each his own, I don't agree with that,' then I can respect you out of that. A lot of people cannot even have that conversation," he added.