Basketball was not the hottest topic of discussion during the Cavaliers Media day yesterday afternoon as Lebron James trended for a greater part of the day after sharing somewhat controversial thoughts on police brutality and Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem. Asked whether he would follow suit, Lebron James shared these thoughts:
“First of all, 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 upon 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. What I do not like about the situation is the negative attention that’s been thrown upon him from certain people because it’s not deserved. He was very educated, very smart, very candid, and very demanding about what he wanted to do. And he didn’t ask anybody else to join him. He did it in the most peaceful manner I’ve ever seen someone stand up and do something. So I can respect that. And things that I do personally, when I’m knowledgeable about it and I’m passionate about it, I do that as well and you guys know when those things are because I tell you.”
So would it be fair to assume Lebron isn’t passionate about police brutality and black lives, at least in this capacity? I’d argue yes.
Lebron is telling the absolute truth, when he’s passionate about something, we know it. For instance, last year he partnered with the University of Akron to provide 4-year scholarships for as many as 2,300 Akron kids through the Lebron James Family Foundation I Promise program, so one could argue education is something the Cavs player is deeply passionate about. And in that same vein of truth, when Lebron doesn’t care about something it shows as well, like when he chose not to speak on the killing Tamir Rice under the guise that he’s “always been a guy who’s took pride in knowledge of every situation that I’ve ever spoke on. And to be honest, I haven’t really been on top of this issue. So it’s hard for me to comment.” Lebron’s repeated caveat of needing to be knowledgeable on a subject to speak out on it eight months later suggests the pro-baller still doesn’t care enough about what’s happening to educate himself on these matters and take a strong stance other than “respect” for the stand another man is taking.
Further adding insult to injury, at the close of his statements Lebron reiterated the “all lives matter” rhetoric that anyone knowledgeable on this subject knows has been a pain point used to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement rather than show concern for all lives.
“I’m not up here saying that all the police are bad, because they’re not,” he said. “I’m not up here saying all kids are great and all adults are great, because they’re not. But at the same time, all lives do matter. It’s not just about black or white, it’s everyone.”
That would be true if everyone was getting killed by police officers on a weekly basis, but they’re not. Maybe Lebron doesn’t know that either.
What do you think about Lebron’s comments?