Considered by many to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant likely upset more than a few of his many fans with comments he made during a recent New Yorker interview.
As his storied career winds down, Bryant discussed many aspects of the sport, his life, and other topics. When the conversation meandered to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, however, his take proved what an independent thinker he really is.
While much of the black community, instigated by race hustlers like Al Sharpton, immediately jumped to the deceased teen’s defense and portrayed his shooter as a bigoted murderer, a jury found George Zimmerman acted appropriately upon being attacked by Martin. Nevertheless, Zimmerman has continued to face death threats and outrageous character assassination for the act of self-defense.
For Bryant, such a reaction based on nothing more than racial identification is ridiculous.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to,” he said, “because I’m African-American.”
He criticized his own team’s rash support of Martin as the controversy surrounding his death grew. The entire ordeal, he suggested, is antithetical to the advancement of civil rights.
“So we want to advance as a society and a culture,” he continued, “but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense?”
That position rings hollow in Bryant’s opinion, noting that real progress is found not in walking in lockstep with those of similar skin tone, but in reacting in an informed and deliberate manner.
He said that many in his community “want to talk about how far we’ve progressed,” saying that if “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 like you would in any other situation, right?”
If only his views represented the prevailing sentiment in this nation, there would be far less hostility between groups who should be embracing their common values rather than superficial differences.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Michael Wa (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom