In the backdrop of LeBron James playing a leading role in the NBA’s stand against police brutality, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane to 2015.
A young black kid aged 12 years, Tamir Rice, was shot and killed by cops in Cleveland. In a country with lesser racism, the judiciary may have acted with force against the offending police officers. Instead, the grand jury instituted for the case declined to press charges against the police officers who murdered Rice in cold blood.
LeBron James’s stand on Tamir Rice killing
Being a Cleveland Cavalier since the start of his career, LeBron James was naturally expected to speak up about this. But in the absence of a statement from The King, he received backlash on social media. James finally spoke up near the turn of the year, apologizing for not having something to say on account of not knowing all the facts.
I like you bruh and I agree, applaud Lebron finally took a step toward actually doing something beyond the “acceptable” for change after years of pulling re Tamir Rice but lets not erase a gang of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Peter Norman, Mamoud Abdul-Rauf, Jackie Robinson, etc. https://t.co/78JPGy4rD8
— Normalize Uncivil Disobedience (@GuruBluXVIII) August 27, 2020
Despite this, Rice’s mother was critical of the NBA legend.
Tamir Rice’s mother blasts LeBron James
“I think it’s quite sad that LeBron hasn’t spoken out about my son. I’m not asking him to sit out a game. I know his kids got to eat too, but you can at least put on a shirt or something.”
“Some of the other athletes, some of them have said something, some of them haven’t. I think they should just make a statement. I’m not asking nobody to quit their job or anything, but make a statement for us black people out here.” she said in a hard hitting statement.
This incident is a reminder of how LeBron James was not always the first to rally for a cause. It’s a good thing James has made it a point to be better informed about racially motivated incidents.
In the recent few years, LeBron has made it a point to stay on top of the news and react to any form of social injustice against African-Americans in the US. However, his critics still call him out for his silence on China and other world issues that need his platform to get some awareness going for them.