Lakers star LeBron James condemned the scenes in Washington, DC, and shared a feeling the law enforcement response could have been much worse if the perpetrators had been black.
Large numbers of violent protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after descending into the city for a rally hosted by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that his loss of re-election to Joe Biden was fraudulent.
Five people are confirmed to have died and dozens arrested after appalling scenes at the Democracy HQ in the United States on the day the Electoral College certified Biden’s victory, with some people able to force entry into offices and take photos under the chairmanship of Vice President Mike Pence as members of Congress were forced to flee under escort. Tear gas was used in the Capitol rotunda as a non-lethal means to disperse the crowd.
Wizard Russell Westbrook said the outcome would have been “totally different” if the vast majority of attackers had been African-American. Teammate Bradley Beal said that, compared to the police handling of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, the response lacked the same “sense of urgency.”
76ers coach Doc Rivers shared the sentiment, saying, “It basically proves the point about a privileged life in a lot of ways. I’ll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want it: can- can you imagine today if these all blacks stormed the Capitol and what would have happened? “
And James, who had 27 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in the Lakers’ 118-109 loss to Spurs on Thursday, said the black community had endured a tough week after the Capitol riots and the news that the police officer who had fired and Jacob Blake paralyzed in Wisconsin in August will not face any charges.
“Obviously the last few days have been very, very hard for anyone in the black community,” James said. “We got the news in Memphis with the announcement of Jacob Blake and the cop was released and then seeing what happened in our nation’s capital, inside the Capitol.
“We live in two Americas. It was a great example of this yesterday, and if you don’t understand this or see this after seeing what you saw yesterday, then you really need to take a step back, not even just one step, maybe four, five or even ten steps back.
Ask yourself: how do you want your children, or how do you want your grandchildren, how do we want America to be seen as, how do we want to live in this beautiful country? Because yesterday didn’t was not that.
“Being part of a household with three children, two boys, a girl, a wife, a mother-in-law, so many blacks in my house during this time and it’s on TV, couldn’t help but wonder if if my kind had stormed the Capitol … what would have been the result? I think we all know that.