LeBron James goes back to The ESPYS and talks about his fears for his son’s life
Cavs star admits to being personally affected by the rising racial tensions in America
In July, LeBron James along stood alongside fellow NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul at The ESPYS to speak out against gun violence, police brutality and the simmering racial unrest in the country. Their speech, which included their reaction to shootings in Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas, encouraged people to take action by getting involved in their communities and speaking out against injustices.
the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, encouraged people to take action by getting involved in their communities and speaking out against injustices.
Since January, 714 people have been shot and killed by police, 174 of which were African-American. The recent high-profile shooting deaths of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina have prompted even more protests (and shootings) throughout the country. On Monday, James reiterated the intentions of The ESPYS speech during a press conference in Ohio.
“I think for us, we stood up there understanding what the state of America was in at that point in time and what our personal feelings were,” James said. “We’re not politicians, we weren’t up there saying America is bad and things of that nature. That’s not our position, because America has done so many great things for all of us. Those were our personal feelings and the one thing we wanted to get out of that is that we continue the conversation.”
James continued with his own sentiments about police shootings and violence in America, particularly how they’ve affected him in recent months. The NBA star expressed concern for the safety of his three children, particularly his eldest son, LeBron James Jr.
“I got a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, “ James said. “I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave his house on his own. It’s a scary thought now to think if my son gets pulled over — and you tell your kids if you just apply and you just listen to the police that they will be respectful and things will work itself out, and then you see these videos that continue to come out, it’s a scary a– situation. That if my son calls me and say he’s been pulled over that I’m not that confident that things are going to go well and my son is going to return home and my son just started the sixth grade.”
James hopes that conversations around the systemic racism in America will continue, and commends the actions of San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick and hinted at the NBA’s plans to take “meaningful action” in an attempt to help improve relations between communities and police.
Watch James’ press conference below.