LeBron James on How His Family Felt Watching Response to Capitol Riots: 'We Live in Two Americas'
Lebron James is using his platform, once again, to call out injustice in America.
On Thursday, one day after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in support of President Donald Trump, the 36-year-old Los Angeles Lakers player questioned what the outcome might've been if the mob had been mostly Black individuals.
"We live in two Americas," James said in a press conference following the Lakers' game against the San Antonio Spurs, according to CNN. "And that was a prime example of that yesterday, and if you don't understand that or don't see that after seeing what you saw yesterday, then you really need to take a step back — not even just one step, but maybe four or five, or even 10 steps backwards and ask yourself how do you want your kids, or how do you want your grandkids, or how do we want America to be viewed as? Do we want to live in this beautiful country?"
"Being a part of a household with three kids — two boys, a daughter — a wife, a mother-in-law and so many Black folks in my household during that time and it's on the TV, I couldn't help but to wonder, 'If those were my kind storming the Capitol, what would have been the outcome?' " he continued. "And I think we all know. There's no ifs, ands or buts."
James added, per ESPN: "We already know what would've happened to my kind if anyone would have even got close to the Capitol, let alone storm inside the offices, inside the hallways."
According to CNN, James told reporters that he came across a picture circulating online of "a Black man holding his daughter on top of his shoulders, and you've got a police officer with a shield on, with a gun pointed right at him or right at her." It is unclear what event or incident the image James was referencing was from.
The basketball star then compared that photo to other pictures of a "White guy walking inside the Capitol with his thumb up in the air."
"I mean, what more do I need to say to my kids than to just see the two differences?" he added. "It's right there, right there in their face."
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James' teammate, Anthony Davis, echoed his fellow Laker's sentiments and compared how the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 were handled differently than the recent riot at the Capitol. "It's like a double standard," said Davis, per ESPN. "On the other side, an entire group runs into the nation's Capitol and get escorted out the front door like everything is OK."
"And if I'm not mistaken — well, I'm not mistaken — they did take things, and when the Black Lives Matter [movement] protested it was, 'Once the looting starts, the shooting starts.' And to my knowledge, if you take something, you're looting," he added. "And in that case, for them, they got escorted out the front door. And it's just a slap in the face to us. It feels like we're going backwards. We thought we were seeing change and then this happens."
During his post-game chat, ESPN also reported that James said he feels Trump, 74, is responsible for what happened earlier this week in D.C.
"The events that took place yesterday was a direct correlation of the president that's in the seat right now — of his actions, his beliefs, his wishes," James said. "He cares about nobody besides himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn't care about this country. He doesn't care about his family. He doesn't care about anybody besides himself."
"Four years ago, I sat there and said this is the beginning of the end for our country," he recalled of standing in the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room on the evening Trump was elected as president. "And hopefully it only lasts four years."
"But the one thing you can't get back in life, one thing you can never get back, and that's time," he continued. "Can't get back time. We've literally just s—— away four years. How do we recoup that?"
Regardless, James looked ahead to what he hopes will be better days and noted that he believes President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will bring about change for the country.
"We took a step forward in November by electing Joe and Kamala to be in the White House, for them to be the head of our country," James said. "That is a step forward."
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