Last week, LeBron James was singled out by Los Angeles County sheriff to match the reward money put up in hopes of getting information on two unknown gunmen that ambushed two deputies.
James was asked about the challenge by reporters after the Los Angeles Lakers were defeated by the Denver Nuggets in game 3 of the West Conference Finals. James said he had “zero comment” but maintained the fact that he has never promoted violence.
“I’ve never in my 35 years ever condoned violence. Never have. But I also know what’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong,” James said, according to ESPN. “I grew up in the inner city in a Black community in what we call the hood or the ghetto. … I’ve seen a lot of counts firsthand of a lot of Black people being racially profiled because of our color. And I’ve seen it throughout my whole life.”
Following the ambush, far-right commentators pinned the blame on Black Lives Matter, entertainers, and professional athletes.
James has supported the BLM movement and been vocal about police brutality against Black men and women, which may be the reason why the sheriff targeted him.
“And I’m not saying that all cops are bad because I actually — throughout high school and things of that nature, and I’m around them all the time, and they’re not all bad. But when you see the videos that’s going on, and you can see all over the — not only my hometown but all over America — you continue to see the acts of violence toward my kind, I can’t do nothing but to speak about it and see the common denominator,” James added.
“But not one time have I ever said, ‘Let’s act violent toward cops.’ I just said that what’s going on in our community is not OK, and we fear for that, and we fear for our lives. It’s something that we go on every single day as a Black man and a Black woman and a Black kid, a Black girl. We fear. We fear that moment when we’re pulled over.”