LeBron James on player activism after NBA bubble: ‘We don’t stop’
The efforts to raise awareness concerning issues such as systemic racism, social inequality and police misconduct played a prominent role during the NBA’s restart in the bubble at the Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
LeBron James made it clear this week that he and his fellow players intend to continue their activism long after the league departs Orlando, Fla., saying, “We don’t stop.”
An NBA season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic could conclude as soon as Friday as the Los Angeles Lakers aim to eliminate the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. James said Thursday that when it comes to players continuing their efforts to combat racial and social inequality, things are just getting started.
“But I hope that people continue to use their platform, use their individual social media platforms, or if they are doing it that way, if you are an individual that goes into your community and does it that way,” James said Thursday to reporters on a videoconference, per the Los Angeles Times.
“However that you continue to create change for the better of all of us, I think it only makes us all better. It doesn’t matter what race you are. It doesn’t matter what color you are. No matter how tall, whatever the case may be, because we all want to see better days. No matter if you agree or don’t agree with some of the things that are going on, I think we’d all love to see better days and see more love than hate.”
James has long been recognized as perhaps the most outspoken professional athlete, of this or any other era, when it comes to raising awareness about issues pertaining to social justice. It’s a challenge and responsibility the Lakers star takes as seriously as his NBA career.
Social activism targeting such issues unsurprisingly was front and center during the NBA restart. The incident involving Jacob Blake — an unarmed Black man who was shot seven times in the back by officers in front of his children in Kenosha, Wisc. — unsurprisingly inspired outrage in the bubble. The fact that it followed the police-involved deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor earlier in the year only exacerbated player frustration and anger.
Even though play in Orlando will soon wrap up after the NBA successfully managed to conclude its season, James knows what began in the bubble when it comes to activism is only the start of what players hope to accomplish.