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LeBron James speaks out against police brutality: ‘We are scared as Black people’

 LeBron James reacts to a play during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
LeBron James reacts to a play during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Lakers star LeBron James saw the video of Kenosha, Wis., police shooting Jacob Blake in the back for the first time on Monday. It made him feel angry, fearful and hurt.

James as well as teammates Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis spoke passionately about the shooting — and the relationship between Black people in America and police — following the Lakers’ Game 4 victory over Portland.

LeBron James:

“Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing and his family is there, the kids are there,” James said. “It’s in broad daylight. And who knows, I mean, if that video is not being taken by that person across the street, do we even know [what happened]? There’s talks that the cops didn’t even have any body cams on, that’s a possibility. It’s just, it’s just — quite frankly, it’s just [expletive] up in our community. And I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified. Because you don’t know.

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“You have no idea. You have no idea how that cop that day left the house. You don’t know if he woke up on this side of the bed, you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you don’t know if he had an argument at home with his significant other, you don’t know if one of his kids said something to him and he left the house steaming. Or maybe he just left the house saying that today is going to be the end for one of these Black people. That’s what it feels like. That’s what it feels like. It just hurts. It hurts. And it’s through the grace of God that he’s still living. Like seven shots close range and he’s still alive? That’s through the grace of God right there and my prayers goes out to that family and that community. But I got nothing nice to say about those cops at all. At all.

“I got half of my brain locked in on the playoffs and the other half locked in on how I can help Black people become greater in America. And that’s what it’s all about.

“What we continue to see from the people that’s supposed to serve and protect — when I was in elementary and they used to come to the elementary and they used to talk about, they would give us T-shirts. The crime dog used to come … D.A.R.E yeah! We was happy to see ’em! I even had a couple cops that growing up that I was happy to see every now and then. But you always had in the back of your head, you was like, just gotta be careful.

“No kid should have to feel that threatened that he has to hide at his own house. That is sad, but I know what he’s going through because I was one of those kids when I lived in the projects when we saw a cop rolling we went behind a brick wall and waited for it to roll out. And if we seen the cops lights come on we ran, even if we wasn’t, even if we didn’t do nothing wrong. Because we was just scared. It’s tough.”

Anthony Davis:

“Obviously the things that’s going on now and happened today with Jacob Blake, which is totally unacceptable, and you definitely use our forces for that victim as well. He’s one of the lucky ones because he survived. And he’s stable. So I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a lot to say as well as his family, but you know, it kind of just carries with you for your life, but what you see with the current events going on today it just make you go back to your childhood and remember why you’re afraid.

“I don’t have any teenage boys but I know Bron talk about it all the time with his two kids. And just a tough situation the world is scared right now and the most we can do, we do have voices. Bron talks to us about voting all the time, he started his organization for everyone to vote and that’s kind of where it starts for us.

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“We just kind of continuing to push the envelope on wanting change and we got to do our part. We know what we’re here for but that’s not only our main focus, our main focus is on social justice and we are lucky to have a ton of guys who are public figures like Bron, CP [Chris Paul], all these guys who are always on the forefront and speaking out and able to kind of guide the younger guys and stand up in the right direction and kind of follow their lead.”

Kyle Kuzma:

“It’s kind of depressing for a man to get shot seven times by cops, unarmed in front of his kids, that his kids will probably remember for the rest of their lives. You know, that’s scary, not only for me, but every African American. Every minority in this country. But you know it’s just something we just need to continue to work on as a society and change, because quite frankly it’s disgusting to have multiple cops around, and not even thinking about a taser, and you know, forget about the taser, just simple combat and taking a man down instead of trying to shoot him. And that has to change. Has to change.

“If you watch the video, you have cops running up to the car and you want to talk about ‘thugs’ all the time, you have cops shooting guys. It’s not it. It’s not it. We have to change that. We have to continue to speak on it, harp on it. And to the Jacob Blake family, we just want you to know, from people who have a platform, we’re going to continue to say your name and get justice for you, along with Breonna Taylor and every other victim of police brutality.”

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