Black fans in Cleveland wanted LeBron James to make a statement. Days after a grand jury declined to indict police officers in the murder of Cleveland native Tamir Rice, activists called for James to follow the actions of black players from the University of Missouri. They wanted James to sit out games in protest.
James responded to Rice’s case following the Cleveland Cavs game against the Denver Nuggets by suggesting that he didn’t know enough about the case to respond. “To be honest, I really haven’t been on top of this issue, I don’t have enough knowledge about it,” James said.
It’s hard to believe that James would have little knowledge about a situation where a Black child in his hometown was murdered. Considering that James responded to the case months earlier, it was a disappointing answer from a person who stands as the most recognized Black figure in Cleveland.
In the past, James have made statements by posting a picture with Miami Heat players while wearing a hood for Trayvon Martin. He also wore a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in solidarity to the death of Eric Garner.
However, James was blasted by activists on social media who called for the NBA star to make a profound statement for Tamir Rice. The hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron soon became a trending topic on Twitter.
Checkout statements below:
Lebron kinda messed up by claiming not to be fully informed on the whole #TamirRice situation.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) December 30, 2015
Tamir Rice and Toy Guns months ago! So yeah, something fishy about Lebron James taking this stance this time around.
— Zackfig (CTR Guild) (@Zackfig) December 30, 2015
Lebron is not going to help, the days of athletes understanding their cultural significance is long gone #TamirRice
— Itachi (@DeBugg55) December 30, 2015
If you are going to ask LeBron to speak about Tamir Rice please ask Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to speak on it as well.
— Alshon LaBundy (@muggy817) December 30, 2015