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LeBron James focuses on Breonna Taylor, social justice in postgame remarks

LeBron James Breonna Taylor

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on before the game on July 23, 2020 at the Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Wednesday, Paul George became the latest player to turn his press conference at the NBA’s restart into a call for social justice, focusing on Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Thursday night it was LeBron James’ turn.

Speaking to the media after the Lakers fell in their opening exhibition to Dallas, LeBron started his postgame press conference talking about the shooting death of Taylor: “We want the cops arrested that committed that crime.” (Hat tip Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.)

From there LeBron turned to the lack of progress on race relations in this nation in the past four years, then the meaning of “Black Lives Matter.”

“A lot of people talk about Black Lives Matter as a movement. It’s not a movement. When you’re Black, it’s a lifestyle... When you wake up and you’re Black, that’s what it is...

“In America, in society, ain’t been no d*** movement for us.”

LeBron — as the most popular player in the world — has a very loud megaphone when he speaks. However, LeBron is about more than words, he’s put his money into an organization working on registering voters and reversing voter suppression measures in parts of the nation.
LeBron and George were not the first players to turn their Orlando pressers into discussions of social justice and Breonna Taylor. Boston‘s Jaylen Brown, Portland ‘s C.J. McCollum, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris, Denver’s Jerami Grant, the Lakers’ Alex Caruso and Dwight Howard, all redirected post-practice discussions to only social justice matters. That’s not to mention the “Black Lives Matter” written on the game courts.

Numerous players hesitated to come to the restart in Orlando because of misgivings about being a distraction from the important discussions taking place nationally around social justice issues, and particularly Black Lives Matter. So far, players have not let that happen.

With LeBron James leading the way.