Kobe on Trayvon Martin: “I won’t react just because I’m an African-American”
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
The March 31 edition of the New Yorker will contain a profile of the Los Angeles Lakers future Hall of Fame player Kobe Bryant. Bryant talks about aging and that fact that he thinks his fame is “pretty f***ing cool” for a kid who grew up in Italy and moved to Philly as a teen.
Throughout Kobe’s career, he has been seen as somewhat as an outsider. He has been a professional athlete in the NBA since he left high school, he grew up in Italy and there has been a noted and striking disconnect with Kobe Bryant and Black experience in America. Most Black superstars, especially in the post-Civil Rights era, are found to take a politically moderate stance on issues that directly effect the Black community. This stance is on full display as interviewer Ben McGrath brought up the subject of the Miami Heat photo of the players dressing in hoodies showing solidarity and support in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
“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.”
The profile also refrences when former NFL running back and activist Jim Brown said that Bryant was confused about culture because he was raised in another country and Bryant’s response on Twitter, writing:
“A ‘Global’ African American is an inferior shade to ‘American’ African American?? #hmmm. that doesn’t sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir.”
It really does not sound like Bryant knows a lot about the Trayvon Martin case or is simply refusing to acknowledge the glaring truth set before him – Blacks in America, despite its “progression” are not treated the same, or even fairly for that matter, in America.
The Miami Heat’s show of support was not because it was the “Black” thing to do. The tragic murder and subsequent free pass that Zimmerman received happened in Sanford, FL and greatly affected the Miami Heat. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both have sons and Trayvon could have very easily been one of their sons.
Maybe Kobe will not understand until his fame, which he feels is “pretty f***ing cool” does not shield him from the fact that yes Kobe even you can and will get your fair share of ni88a treatment.
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