LeBron James has never been shy about sharing his thoughts on social issues. Now, as the NBA prepares for its official restart of the season in Orlando, Florida, the Los Angeles Lakers star is seeing more players than ever use their platforms to address issues like police brutality and systemic racism.
After playing his first scrimmage in the bubble, LeBron faced reporters and did not want to talk about basketball.
Instead, he kept the focus on how the players in the bubble can continue to grow.
“I don’t wake up and say, ‘Okay, let’s use the bubble as an opportunity to speak about us as people of color,'” James said, via Sports Illustrated. “It’s just what I am, it’s who I am, it’s what I stand for. I got three Black kids at home. My Black wife is at home. My mother is Black, coming from a single-parent household. I’m the only child … So, nah, I didn’t need this bubble to speak about what I’m about.
“I think the greatest thing that could come out of this is guys in this bubble, guys that may not [normally speak up] or may be scared at times at points in time to speak about things because they feel like it may affect how people view them or affect a certain situation. They say, ‘OK, I’m not LeBron, I can’t do that. He can go up there and say that. It may affect something that’s going on with my livelihood.’ But this opportunity has given guys who really, truly [want to speak an opportunity] just to be like, ‘OK, it’s not [like that.]’ Because it’s a time where we are being heard. Either if you really care or not, we’re being heard.”
James also spoke about Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old black woman who was shot by three police officers in her home.
Lakers’ LeBron James on Breonna Taylor: “We want the cops arrested.” pic.twitter.com/TmMSYgoJQi
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 24, 2020
“We want the cops arrested who committed that crime,” James said. “Obviously in the state of Kentucky, what’s going down there, I know a lot of people are feeling the same. And us as the NBA, and us as the players, and me as one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for it and we want justice. That’s what it’s all about. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. And this is a wrong situation that’s going on in my eyes and in a lot of other eyes.”
The league will be playing a 22-team format that will include 8 regular-season games and the postseason. The 8 games would be played in order to determine the playoff seeding. Games are scheduled to take place from July 31 through October 12.