LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates were already upset after a Wisconsin prosecutor on Tuesday decided not to charge a police officer who shot a black man last year.
Then came Wednesday when a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to delay Congress from certifying the November election results.
What James watched on television with his family continued to strengthen his view of the great divide in the country.
“We live in two Americas and a prime example of this was yesterday. If you don’t understand or see this you have to take a step back. Not just one step but four or five or even ten steps back,” James said Thursday night, after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the San Antonio Spurs 118-109.
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“How do you expect your children or grandchildren to live in this beautiful country? Yesterday wasn’t it. I couldn’t help but wonder if those were my fellow human beings who stormed the country. Capitol what would have been the result. We all know what would have happened if someone approached, let alone the storm or entered the offices. “
James wore a shirt as he walked into Staples Center before the game that said “Do you understand now”.
He also wrote it on his sneakers during the game.
Players and coaches from both teams locked their arms in a circle in the middle of the pitch during the national anthem.
When asked what we mean by his shirt, James said he wanted people to understand what athletes and black people are saying.
“You will never understand what it feels like to be a black man and woman in America,” James said.
“Do you understand how difficult it is to continue to inspire and give all we have? Everyone is riding the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring. How we dress, our music , our culture, our food. Everyone steals what we do and then they want to act like we did or brought into this world. We don’t get our due diligence or anything in his country except a slap. “
Tuesday’s decision by a Kenosha, Wis., Prosecutor not to lay charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake sparked anger throughout the NBA.
Blake’s shooting was one of several social issues players focused on last summer when play resumed in the Orlando, Florida bubble.
James remained a critic of Trump during his four years in office and said what happened on Capitol Hill was a direct correlation to what Trump represents.
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“He doesn’t care about this country or his family. We’ve seen the tweets all the way to this destruction. In the past four years we all knew,” he said.
“One thing you can never get back is time. We’ve literally just (cast) four years.”
“Yesterday was shameful. We’re supposed to set an example for all other countries in how to run things and change the world and yesterday we looked like a third, fourth, fifth world country. It was embarrassing. . “
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who also didn’t shy away from voicing his take on President Trump, said he believes Trump enjoyed Wednesday’s insurgency.
“I believe with all my heart that Trump appreciated this,” Popovich said 90 minutes before the report.
“They talked about the police and how easy it was and the barriers were pulled and they just walked in. This only happens if there is a wink and a nod somewhere. It just doesn’t happen. This has never happened in any demonstration. anyone has ever been.
“That’s why I don’t think it’s so far-fetched that people start talking about the 25th Amendment. We know that probably won’t happen.”
Popovich also took the time to praise James, calling him an “iconic character”.
“As a human being and a citizen and someone who looks at the social issues of our time, he doesn’t do it with hate. He is just telling the truth,” Popovich said of James.