Tags: George Floyd Protests | NBA | Police | shootings

NBA Players Say Police-Involved Shootings Rekindle Bad Memories

Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James. (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 28 August 2020 05:56 PM

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says disturbing videos of police-involved brutality towards Black men— like George Floyd and Jacob Blake — intensify fears engrained in childhood.

And it was those fears that resurfaced when he saw a video of a 10-year-old Elijah Pierre-Louis hiding behind a car in his driveway when police drove by — emerging to go back to shooting baskets only when the car was out of sight, LeBron told ESPN.

“That is sad, but I know what he’s going through because I was one of those kids that lived in the projects,” James said of his own youth in Akron, Ohio.

“When we saw a cop rolling, we hid behind a brick wall and waited for them to roll out. If we saw the cop lights go on, we ran even though we’re doing nothing wrong. We’re just scared. It’s tough.”

Those experiences help explain why NBA players have become increasingly outspoken about systemic racism and police brutality, USA Today reported.

“You can’t underestimate the trauma that we take in on a daily basis with watching our phones and watching these videos,” Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told the news outlet.

“My father was killed when I was young, so it’s a lot of things that go into taking all of this information in.”

Players face backlash for speaking out on systemic racism or for kneeling during the national anthem. But when they see videos like that of the a Minneapolis policeman kneeling on Floyd’s neck, it rekindles bad memories.

“You’ve seen things that make you afraid of the police,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis told USA Today. “And it kind of just stays with you as you grow up.”

“I was fortunate to have everything I needed at home,” Davis added, the news outlet reported. “I had a basketball rim in my backyard. Both my parents were there. Both my parents worked and had cars, I was able to go to a school outside the inner city. But I still lived in the city and I’ve seen things from my perspective from both sides – from the police side and from the Black side. And it just has to get better.”

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says disturbing videos of police-involved shootings of Black men- like George Floyd and Jacob Blake - intensify fears engrained in childhood...
NBA, Police, shootings
364
2020-56-28
Friday, 28 August 2020 05:56 PM
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