Cleveland Cavs forward, LeBron James previously made statements by posting a picture with Miami Heat players while wearing a hood for Trayvon Martin. He also wore a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in solidarity to the death of Eric Garner. So black fans in Cleveland want to know why LeBron James hasn’t spoken up more or made a similar statement after a grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against a rookie Cleveland police officer, Timothy Loehmann for killing for 12-year-old Tamir Rice in his backyard.
Days after a grand jury declined to indict police officers in the murder of Cleveland native Tamir Rice, activists called for James to follow the actions of black players from the University of Missouri. They wanted James to sit out games in protest.
Cleveland’s favorite son responded to Rice’s case following the Cleveland Cavs game against the Denver Nuggets by suggesting that he didn’t know enough about the case to respond. “To be honest, I really haven’t been on top of this issue, I don’t have enough knowledge about it,” James said.
“For me, I’ve always been a guy who’s took pride in knowledge of every situation that I’ve ever spoke on,” James said following the Cavs’ win over the Denver Nuggets. “And to be honest, I haven’t really been on top of this issue. So it’s hard for me to comment. I understand that any lives that [are] lost, what we want more than anything is prayer and the best for the family, for anyone. But for me to comment on the situation, I don’t have enough knowledge about it.”
James has become more and more outspoken regarding social issues facing the United States in recent years. His willingness to comment on issues, coupled with his immense fame and influence, caused activist and writer Tariq Touré to create the Twitter hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron, calling for James to sit in protest of the outcome of the Rice case. The hashtag was embraced by Black Lives Matter activists and gained moderate traction online.
It’s hard for fans to believe that James would have little knowledge about a situation where a Black child in his hometown was murdered. Considering that James responded to the case months earlier, fans were disappointed as he sidesteps the questions about Tamir especially being the most recognized Black figure in Cleveland.
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