LeBron James is still voicing his belief “violence is not answer” as outbreaks of protest continue to break out all over the country in the wake of several police related grand jury generated decisions.
Hours after renewed protests were sparked in New York City following a grand jury’s decision not to indict any of the officers implicated in the choking-related death of Eric Garner, James told ESPN as “a society we just have to do better.”
The Garner decision came just days after a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo. decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. Several witnesses told authorities at the time of his early killing, Brown had raised his hands in surrender when he was fatally wounded.
James also weighed in on the recent police-related shooting death of 12-year Cleveland native Tamir Rice, telling reporters “it’s a sensitive subject right now. I pray for the families of the lost ones.”
While with the Miami Heat, James previously weighed in on such social matters when he and Dwyane Wade organized a team photo where all members of the Heat donned hoodies to protest the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Admitted triggerman George Zimmerman was also cleared at trial in that slaying, which was sparked after Zimmerman approached the teen in their gated-community neighborhood after he admitted he thought the teen looked suspicious.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not,” James said. “If you feel passionate about it or it hits home to you, you have the right to speak up on it. That’s why we have freedom of speech. For me, I’ve never shied away from something that I feel for — for people, for families that I feel for. If you feel passionate about it, you speak up on it.”[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]