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