LeBron James insisted this week he has never called for revenge attacks against cops, despite repeated rants some critics claim inflame “hatred” against police.
“I’ve never in my 35 years ever condoned violence. Never have,” the hoops legend said Tuesday night when asked about his tirades being tied to the anger that led to two California deputies being shot in an ambush.
“I do not condone violence towards anyone,” James insisted, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Police, black people, white people, anyone of color, anyone not of color because that’s not gonna ever make this world or America what we want it to be.”
The Lakers legend has been the most vocal professional athlete on police brutality, calling it “f—ed up” that black Americans are living in fear of getting shot by cops who maybe “just left the house saying that today is going to be the end for one of these black people.”
Conservative pundit Candace Owens accused him of inflaming hatred against the police as she tagged a video of the deputies being shot, while Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged him to match and double the reward money being offered for info on the gunman.
James on Tuesday said he had “zero comment on the sheriff,” but distanced himself from the attack, the LA Times said.
“Not one time have I ever said, ‘Let’s act violent towards cops,’” he insisted. “I just said that what’s going on in our community is not OK and we fear for that and we fear for our lives.”
The hoops star said that cops are “not all bad,” but he would continue to speak out against those who are.
“When you see the videos that’s going on and you can see all over the — not only my hometown, but all over America, you continue to see the acts of violence towards my kind, I can’t do nothing but to speak about it and see the common denominator,” he said, according to the paper.
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