LeBron James Speaks on Tamir Rice

LeBron James Speaks on Tamir Rice

Activists call on NBA superstar to join protest.

Published December 30, 2015

LeBron James has caught wind of the #NoJusticeNoLeBron online grassroots campaign, calling on him to sit out games in protest of police officers not being charged in the November 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Cleveland native Tamir Rice.

The problem is the Cleveland Cavaliers star, who is one of the most socially-conscious athletes in sports, isn't informed of the case as much as he should be.

"For me, I've always been a guy who's took pride in knowledge of every situation that I've ever spoke on," James told ESPN following the Cavs' win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night. "And to be honest, I haven't really been on top of this issue. So it's hard for me to comment. I understand that any lives that [are] lost, what we want more than anything is prayer and the best for the family, for anyone. But for me to comment on the situation, I don't have enough knowledge about it."

He added: "I caught a little bit of it from my folks on the side saying that you guys might ask me about it, but I have no knowledge. I'm not much of a social media guy. I'm on it, for sure, but I'm not always looking at what's going on in it."

It's surprising to hear, considering Rice was from Cleveland and James has spoken about everything from the murders of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. He and his Cavs teammates were amongst the first NBA players who wore "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts in protest of Eric Garner being choked to death by an NYPD police officer. He even spoke out about growing violence in Cleveland this past October.

"First of all, I think I've been very outspoken about what I believe in," James said. "What hits home for me, what I am [knowledgeable] about. There's been so many more issues that's gone on that I haven't spoken about.

"There's been the San Bernardino massacre, there's been guys going in movie theaters, shooting up movie theaters, there's been other issues," he continued. "Those are not something that ... I don't have much knowledge of so I don't speak about it. So for me ... if I feel like it's something that I have a lot of knowledge about [I'll add my voice to the issue], because I don't like to speak when I don't know about it."

He added: "But I think the most important thing that we all need to understand, the most important thing, this issue is bigger than LeBron. This issue is bigger than me; it's about everyone. And gun violence and tragedies and kids losing lives at a young age, some way, somehow we need to understand that that matters more than just an individual."

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(Photo from left: Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer/Landov, David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla


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