Los Angeles Lakers teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis have never shied away from discussing their personal beliefs when it comes to social injustice in the United States.
Over the past year — whether it was the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the shooting of Jacob Blake, or the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol — James and Davis have given unfiltered opinions about the poor treatment of the Black community.
The NBA as a whole re-focused on their message of social justice after a tumultuous week. Beyond the shameful riots at the Capitol — the day Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were officially certified as President and Vice President, respectively — it was also announced no officers would be charged in the attempted murder of Blake.
In the Lakers Thursday night loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Davis made headlines by wearing a shirt that said “Fear of a Black planet.” He was asked about the wardrobe choice and what it meant to him.
“It’s definitely in relation to everything that has been going on. Fear of a Black planet,” Davis said. “I just think it’s funny how when Black Lives Matter protest and we want to get our point across, we’re in the streets for the most part having peaceful protests, we get attacked and assaulted.
“It’s like a double standard. On the other side, an entire group runs into the nation’s Capitol and get escorted out the front door like everything is OK. If I’m not mistaken — well, I’m not mistaken — they did take things. When the Black Lives Matter protested, it was, ‘Once the looting starts, the shooting starts.’ To my knowledge, if you take something, you’re looting. In that case for them, they got escorted out the front door.”
Prior to the contest, the Spurs and Lakers demonstrated by locking arms at center court. “We just can’t give up hope no matter what goes on,” Davis added.
“As a brotherhood in the league and as an African-American myself, we can’t allow ourselves to lose hope just because we’re not seeing changes. That’s what people want. They want us to lose hope, lose faith and just fade away.”
James went into even further detail when discussing the impact of this week’s events. “Obviously the last few days have been very, very tough on anybody in the Black community,” James said.
“Starting off when we got the news while we were in Memphis with the Jacob Blake announcement with the cop not being accused of that brutal murder. And then with [Wednesday], seeing what happened at our national Capitol, inside the Capitol, we live in two Americas. That was a prime example of that.
“If you don’t understand that or see that, after seeing what you saw, then you really need to take a step back. Not even just one step. Maybe four or five, or even 10 steps backwards. And ask yourself how do you want your kids or grandkids to view America? How do we want to live in this beautiful country? Because [Wednesday] was not it.”
James is holding out hope that the election of Biden and Harris will be a turning point for the nation moving forward. “We took a step forward in November by electing Joe and Kamala to be in the White House for them to be the head of our country,” he said.
“That is a step forward. The events that took place was a direct correlation of the President that’s in the seat right now, of his actions, his beliefs, his wishes. He cares about nobody besides himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn’t care about this country, he doesn’t care about his family. He doesn’t care about anybody besides himself.”
Gregg Popovich champions James as iconic figure
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave immense praise to James’ work off the court prior to the Spurs-Lakers matchup.
Beyond James’ eloquent way of calling out issues in society, Popovich said his actions will lead him to become an iconic figure in the same realm as Muhammad Ali.
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