Kobe Bryant practically admitted he was out of touch with the Black community when sharing his views on the 2012 Trayvon Martin shooting.
In the April 4 issue of The New Yorker magazine, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball star was asked about the Miami Heat’s show of solidarity for Martin, the 17-year-old African-American shot to death in Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who is white, was acquitted last year of second degree murder of the teenager.
However, Bryant seemed to have issues with the idea that African-Americans should base their opinions on the race of the victim.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” Bryant said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, 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 just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
After many people took to Twitter to express outrage at the comments and called for boycotts of Bryant’s jersey’s, shoes and other basketball products, Bryant backtracked, tweeting hours later:
“Travon (sic) Martin was wronged THATS my opinion and thats what I believe the FACTS showed. The system did not work #myopinion #tweetURthoughts.”