LOS ANGELES – The day after a crowd of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, LeBron James, the captain of the Los Angeles Lakers, wondered what would have happened if the insurgent group was mostly black and gave Blame President Donald Trump for the chaos.
“We live in two Americas,” said James on Thursday after the Lakers’ defeat by the San Antonio Spurs (118-109). “And that was a prime example of this yesterday, and if you don’t understand or see this after seeing what you saw yesterday, you really need to take a step back – not even a step, but maybe four or five or even ten Step back and ask yourself how you want your children, or how you want your grandchildren, or how we want America to be viewed as? Do we want to live in this beautiful country? “
James wears a black shirt that says “Do you understand now?” In block letters, he said he saw coverage of the riots on Wednesday, in which a largely white mob was hit by relatively passive police. He said it made him wonder how he and his family – his wife, three children, and mother-in-law, who are all black – would be treated in the same situation.
“If that was my way of storming the Capitol, what would the result have been? And I think we all know,” said James. “There are no ifs and buts – we already know what would have happened to my kind if someone had come near the Capitol, let alone stormed the offices or the hallways.”
James’ teammate Anthony Davis repeated the sentiment, contrasting it with how Black Lives Matter protesters were hit by police officers across the country over the summer.
“It’s like a double standard,” said Davis, wearing a shirt with the title of Public Enemy’s 1990 album Fear of Black Planet on it. “On the other hand, a whole group is running into the nation’s Capitol and being led out the front door like everything is fine.
“And if I’m not wrong – well, I’m not wrong – they took things, and if the black life matters [movement] protested it was, “As soon as the looting begins, the shooting begins.” And as far as I know, if you take something, you loot. And in this case, they were shown out the front door for her. And it’s just a slap in the face for us. It feels like we’re going backwards. We thought we were seeing change and then this happens. “
In May, Trump tweeted, “If the looting begins, the shooting begins,” threatening military action in response to the social justice movement sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was in police custody in Minneapolis when he arrived the neck of a kneeling officer died.
James, who has had a public back and forth with Trump for years, said the outgoing president was to blame for what happened on Wednesday.
“The events that took place yesterday were a direct correlation of the president sitting on the pitch – his actions, his beliefs, his desires,” said James. “He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn’t care about this country. He doesn’t care about his family. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.”
In 2016, while standing in the Cleveland Cavaliers locker room the night Trump was elected, James frankly wondered if he would be better off leaving the country. He said Thursday evening that it was a detrimental presidential term for the country.
“I sat there four years ago and said this was the beginning of the end for our country. And hopefully it will only be four years,” said James. “But the one thing you can’t get back in life, one thing you can never get back, and that’s time. I can’t get time back. We have literally only been four years. How are we?” make up for that? “
The Capitol rupture on Wednesday, which resulted in five deaths and the resignation of the Capitol Police chief, came hours before Joe Biden was officially certified as the 46th President of the United States when Congress confirmed the electoral college number of 306-232.
James said he believes Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris offer hope for the country.
“We took a step forward in November by electing Joe and Kamala to the White House to be the head of our country,” said James. “That’s a step forward.”
Davis said the pre-game Lakers and Spurs demonstration – locking your arms together in a circle in the courtyard during the national anthem – should continue to inspire unity during a difficult time.
“We just can’t give up hope. No matter what. As a fraternity in the league and as African American, we can’t allow ourselves to lose hope just because we don’t see change,” said Davis. “That’s what people want. They want us to lose hope, lose faith and let us fade. Let the idea of change fade. And we do nothing. … We must continue to be united and in solidarity stay to achieve this. ” sure we will stay strong through all of this. “