Comments Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made about the Trayvon Martin case have put him in the middle of a social media firestorm.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Bryant said black people should not immediately rush to the defense of a black person simply because of his or her race. He specifically criticized Lebron James and the Miami Heat for posting a photo wearing hoodies in solidarity with Martin’s family, according to Colorlines.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society?
“Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader in Sanford, Fla., killed Martin, 17, in February 2012 as the boy was heading home from the store. Martin was wearing a hoodie at the time and that became a symbol of the Martin-Zimmerman story. In July 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in connection with the shooting.
SOURCE: Ray Jablonski, Northeast Ohio Media Group