As arguably the most influential and astute athlete of this generation, LeBron James might be a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.
So last week, when Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva took a break from attempting to reinstate former deputies accused of domestic violence in order to issue a challenge to King James, the three-time NBA champion wasn’t going for it.
As we previously reported at The Root, Villanueva went on a local radio show and pressed LeBron to double the reward money being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for shooting two LA county deputies on September 12. He called out LeBron specifically because of LeBron’s penchant for calling out racial inequity and police misconduct.
Again, LeBron ain’t stupid.
So after the Lakers got their asses kicked by the Nuggets on Tuesday night, the Akron, Ohio, native decided it was the opportune time to issue a retort. He began by dismissing Villanueva’s challenge, saying he had “zero comment,” then set a few things straight.
“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 told reporters. “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 accounts firsthand of a lot of Black people being racially profiled because of our color. And I’ve seen it throughout my whole life.
“And I’m not saying that all cops are 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.
“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.”
King James ain’t tell not one lie.
He’s also not foolish enough to fall for Villanueva’s trap.
Like I said before: if the LA County Sheriff’s office made it a point to consistently treat Black people like human beings, we’d be a lot more apt to help bring this shooter to justice. This man expects the public to entrust him with our safety, but he might want to clean up his own raggedy-ass house first before he attempts to come for anyone.
Especially someone as astute as King James.