LeBron James denied ever condoning violence towards the police as he insisted he will continue to speak out against brutality.
The NBA superstar also dismissed comments by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva who asked him to give the county $175,00 to boost the reward for the gunman in the attack on two officers in Compton.
James insisted he had never supported revenge attacks against law enforcement but had repeatedly seen police racially profile his community.
“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 said after the Los Angeles Lakers lost in the NBA playoffs to the Denver Nuggets.
“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 counts firsthand of a lot of Black people being racially profiled because of our colour. And I’ve seen it throughout my whole life.
“And I’m not saying that all cops are bad because, I actually, throughout high school and things of that nature, and I’m around them all the time, and they’re not all 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.”
James also highlighted the June arrest of Keonte Furdge in Wisconsin, who was handcuffed and detained at gun point after a neighbour did not recognise him and called police.
“The police came in the house without a warrant, without anything and arrested the guy, a Black man, because he was sitting out on the porch.
“And if you can’t tell me that’s not racial profiling, then I don’t know what the hell we’re looking at.
“But I do not condone violence toward anyone, the police, Black people, white people, anyone of colour, anyone not of colour.
“That’s not going to ever make this world or America what we want it to be.”
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