Kobe Bryant caused quite a stir with statements he made a few weeks ago to The New Yorker regarding the infamous group photo of the Miami Heat players rocking hoodies for Trayvon Martin. Kobe stated,
”I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, just because I’m African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and as 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, if we’ve progressed as a society, then you don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself (
Needless to say the blogs, Twitter, Facebook and all have since been on fire. Even Miami Heat player, Dwayne Wade felt the need to chime in regarding Kobe’s comment stating,
“It was our backyard, and being in our backyard, being something that a lot of guys on this team—not only growing up in the kind of environment that Trayvon was in—but also having young boys…Knowing that he is a big fan of the Miami Heat. That is something that we got behind. As a team. I can’t even say the organization. It was as a team. We got behind it. And it was more so that than the color of his skin (bleacherreport.com
Oddly enough, a few months ago, prior to the whole twitter fiasco, former NFL player, Jim Brown made his feelings about the Lakers player very clear on the Aresenio Hall Show when he stated, “he’s somewhat confused about our culture. Because he was brought up in another country…” (Video below)
Ok. Ok. So Kobe spent most of his developmental years in Italy. Eight years to be exact, from 5 years of age to thirteen. Does this mean he is oblivious to what’s going on around him? Besides his high school and young adult years were spent in this country. Is he living in a bubble? Kobe has been in U.S. long enough and was old enough when his family came to this country to not only to be aware of this issue, but to understand why African Americans were outraged with the Trayvon Martin incident and thus the Miami Heat photo. Furthermore, the media is filled with stories of the police unlawfully stopping, detaining, arresting and/or killing men of color. In this case, the victim, Trayvon, was stalked, shot and killed. What’s there to get?
Kobe appears to have serious case of amnesia, as he seems to have conveniently forgotten that this very argument, the unjust targeting of African American men, was used to help get him off during his 2004 rape case. “Kobe’s defense team raised the issue of race in court, saying black men have long been falsely accused of rape by white women.” Hmm???? You think it made sense to him then?
It appears the widespread disapproval from African Americans has Mr. Bryant a little nervous. Or maybe it is the threats to boycott him that led him to send out the following tweet, “Travon (sic) Martin was wronged THATS my opinion and thats what I believe the FACTS showed. The system did not work.” Talking about messing with someone’s Benjamins has a way of knocking the ‘sense’ into anyone.
Sorry Kobe! Too late…it doesn’t feel sincere!