Lakers’ LeBron James Demands Justice for Breonna Taylor, Says BLM Is a Lifestyle

Lakers’ LeBron James Demands Justice for Breonna Taylor, Says BLM Is a Lifestyle

FILE - In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles. If James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James wants the police who killed Breonna Taylor arrested.

“We want the cops arrested who committed that crime” he said following Thursday’s exhibition against the Dallas Mavericks:

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Lakers’ LeBron James on Breonna Taylor: “We want the cops arrested.” https://t.co/TmMSYgoJQi

Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks noted James opened his press conference with that message and called for justice for Taylor following the second question. 

Malika Andrews of ESPN noted the King wondered if there needs to be a video of Taylor’s death like there was with George Floyd for it to be taken seriously, saying, “Is that what we need, a video of Breonna being killed for people to see how bad this is?”

He also talked about Black Lives Matter, which he called a “lifestyle” and not just a movement:

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

“Everybody talks about black lives matter as a movement. It’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle…..it doesn’t stop.” – @KingJames

Harrison Faigen @hmfaigen

LeBron James, wrapping up some more remarks on Black Lives Matter.

“You can’t understand unless you’re a person of color. You might feel for us, but you’ll never understand what it’s like to be Black in America.”

James is never hesitant to use his platform to fight for social justice and racial equality. That he has been the NBA’s most prominent player for so many years only gives him a bigger platform, and Bill Oram of The Athletic called the 15 minutes he spoke Thursday “powerful.”

“When he speaks the whole world listens,” teammate Anthony Davis told reporters.

James was also asked if he believes progress has been made in the United States regarding social justice, and he responded: “In 2016, Barack [Obama] was our president. We know what’s going on now. Is that progress? I think we can all sit here and say that’s not progress.”

However, he did acknowledge there has been progress with further conversations and listening when it comes to Black Lives Matter in recent weeks, but he also said, “We’ve got a long way to go.”

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he’s seen progress in USA on social justice: “In 2016, Barack [Obama] was our President. We know what’s going on now. Is that progress? I think we can all sit here and say that’s not progress. … We’ve got a long way to go.” https://t.co/UjSgnr2UXr

Rooks shared some of James’ thoughts on how the United States can improve:

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

I asked @KingJames what an improved America looks like to him. Here is his thoughtful answer: https://t.co/bhi1jbNkjN

James also used his time on the court to take a stand, writing “#Justice4BreonnaT” on his sneakers:

B/R Kicks @brkicks

Justice 4 Breonna Taylor ✍️ @KingJames https://t.co/LoXNLMD1Kr

Theresa Waldrop, Ray Sanchez and Elizabeth Joseph of CNN noted Taylor was a Black EMT who was “killed when police broke down the door to her apartment in an attempted drug sting and shot her eight times.”

James is far from the only NBA player to call for justice for Taylor and even praised Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris for doing so:

LeBron James @KingJames

🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣 Salute homie! @tobias31 ✊🏾 #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor https://t.co/D2SqQKxF15

Harris called for action from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying, “We want to make sure that Daniel Cameron will arrest the cops and the officers involved with Breonna Taylor’s death, and that’s all I got to say.”

According to Hemal Jhaveri of USA Today’s For The Win, Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant, Lakers center Dwight Howard and Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown have also been among those players who publicly called for justice for Taylor.

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