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LeBron James strongly endorses Jalen Rose’s monologue on police killing Daunte Wright

LeBron James, Daunte Wright, Jalen Rose

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James supported a message delivered by Jalen Rose on the history of police brutality against Black people in America in the wake of the killing of Daunte Wright.

During Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby,” Rose traced the long-standing tensions between Black people and law enforcement, and shed light on the continued distrust of police by many people of color in America:

“KRS-One coined it really well when he basically compared the term ‘officer’, modern-day, to ‘overseer,’ as it related to slavery,” Rose said. “And here’s why: the police were initially formed to corral slaves. That’s an absolute fact. So we’re always going to be looking over our shoulder at that group. They’re just called on to protect and serve. But to us, we always felt like we were the only people being policed. There are way too many names that I know, Jacoby, there are way too many: Geoge Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner. Philando Castille. I know too many of these names, and it continues to not only disrupt families in my community, but it inflicts a level of pain, anxiety, generational setbacks that our people have never been able to overcome.”

Rose threw out a few “action steps” for police reform, including harsher punitive consequences for killing an unarmed citizen and termination for falsifying reports. Rose pointed out that proper discipline for police officers often only comes after an incident “goes viral” on social media:

“The only thing that has, sadly, changed from Jim Crow laws is a cell phone,” Rose continued. “That’s the only thing that’s changed. Because it’s been happening. So now people that don’t look like me are like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is happening?’ Yeah it’s happening! It’s been happening since the beginning of time, and we’re tired of it.”

LeBron James quote tweeted Rose’s monologue, and passionately voiced his agreement:

Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot on Sunday night by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, following a traffic stop. The Brooklyn Center police department has claimed the shooting was an “accidental discharge” and the officer meant to use a Taser.

James’ teammate, Jared Dudley, seemed to co-opt Rose’s call for jail time for officers who kill an unarmed person with this message:

 

The incident has, once again, sparked nationwide protests, including in South Los Angeles, after yet another tragic killing of an unarmed Black person at the hands of a police officer. The shooting occurred as Derek Chauvin continues to stand trial for killing George Floyd in nearby Minneapolis last May.

James has become increasingly outspoken on social and political issues, dating back to when his Miami Heat squad donned black hoodies before a game in March 2012 after the killing of Trayvon Martin. James has been a proud ally of Colin Kaepernick, and he executive produced an award-winning series, “Shut Up and Dribble,” documenting the rich intersection of athletics and activism.

 

LeBron James has not spoken to the media since he suffered a high ankle sprain on March 20, which has forced him to miss the past 12 games. On Monday, Frank Vogel said he had not yet discussed the shooting of Wright with his team.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, and Minnesota Wild all postponed their games on Monday.

Numerous folks across the NBA have condemned the killing of Wright. San Antonio Spurs head coach called it “deplorable,”Β and his team and the Denver Nuggets locked arms at center court during the national anthem before their games on Monday.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers delivered another poignant message on police brutality.

Also on Monday, the Lakers forward fired back (in the form of a James Baldwin quote) at Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who grossly criticized Michael Vick’s appearance in a video for James’ More Than a Vote initiative, which is working to combat voter suppression in Florida.

LeBron James will continue to be outspoken on these matters and will never shut up and dribble.