Ex-NFL star Jim Brown’s comments made headlines yesterday when he questioned Kobe Bryant’s understanding of African-American culture on The Arsenio Hall Show, going as far as to say that Bryant was “confused about culture because he was brought up in a different country.” This afternoon, Bryant addressed the situation with the media, saying that he’s never even met Jim Brown and what surprised him the most about Brown’s comments were that they “came out of left field.”
“It came out of left field. But I do think it’s a great opportunity to have this conversation, to have this discussion. No matter where you come from, whether you come from Italy, whether you come from Inglewood, whether you come from London, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately the conversation is that it doesn’t matter what color skin you are to begin with.”
Bryant explained this afternoon that he felt Brown’s comments were a “major issue,” involving the “perception of racial equality,” which is why he felt the need to address Brown’s statements publicly on his Twitter account Thursday morning:
A "Global" African American is an inferior shade to "American" African Americans?? #hmm.. that doesn't sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 12, 2013
Would Bryant welcome the opportunity to talk to Brown about his comments? Hardly.
“There’s nothing to talk about. We have different perceptions and different views on that, clearly,” Bryant said confidently Thursday afternoon. “He and I, there’s no reason for us to try to have a conversation. We’re on opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog and a lot more set in his ways than I am.”
Being in the spotlight, Bryant is used to criticism, but it generally surrounds his play. This time, Brown dug a little too deep and Bryant felt it was important enough to respond.
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