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LeBron James on Tuesday night responded to the Los Angeles County sheriff who last week publicly challenged the Lakers superstar to match the reward money being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the suspected gunman who ambushed two deputies.
Telling reporters he had “zero comment” after the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, James expounded that he has never encouraged violence of any form toward anyone.
“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.”
After the ambush of the to deputies earlier this month, far-right commentators put the blame for the attack on Black Lives Matter, stars and pro athletes. James was specifically called out due to his support of BLM and for being outspoken about unarmed Black men and women being killed by police. Shortly thereafter, the sheriff singled out James with his challenge.
Of law enforcement professionals, James said Tuesday night, according to ESPN, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant previously blasted the sheriff for the LeBron challenge. And in related news, she filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department on Tuesday over deputies who took and shared photos of the helicopter crash site where her husband and child, along with seven others, were killed in January.
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