In the March 31st issue of the New Yorker magazine, Bryant was asked his opinion of the Miami Heat’s show of solidarity in the Trayvon Martin case (the players took an iconic photo in hoodies as a show of support).
Here’s what Kobe had to say:
“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.”
Those comments evoked a lot of emotions from some saying Kobe is out-of-touch and other’s agreeing with his assessment.
Kobe (35), who spent much of his childhood in Italy where his dad played basketball professionally, simply stated his opinion. He didn’t take a position.
Isn’t that logical? To do otherwise is like assuming black people are beyond reproach or better yet, incapable of committing a crime.
Retired, outspoken NFL running back Jim Brown told the article’s author “Bryant doesn’t understand the African-American culture.”
“[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country,” Brown said.
Duh, what do you expect? Does Brown fully understand Kobe’s? I doubt it.
When you grow up outside the US, you view people in America as Americans. It’s after you come to America-you realize you are considered black or African American first.
Kobe doesn’t have that complex which is good. He see’s things for what they are regardless of color. That’s what Dr. King stood for! If we all judged each other as individuals-prejudices and stereotypes would erode.
Kobe posted this message to his Instagram saying, “We can’t further the movement if WE don’t further the movement ourselves.”
He later clarified his comments by tweeting:
“Travon (sic) Martin was wronged THATS my opinion and thats what I believe the FACTS showed. The system did not work #myopinion #tweetURthoughts.”
I don’t find anything wrong with Kobe’s statement. He simply said we shouldn’t rush to judgement until we’ve heard all the facts.
Isn’t that sensible?
Otherwise, at some point we would throw our support behind someone who has wronged, and we all know, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
When are black activists going to stop treating black Americans as though we should be an undifferentiated group of non-thinkers? And, stop having people believe there is something wrong with being an independent thinker, and being such jeopardizes one of losing their ‘black card’?
This is utterly ridiculous! I think Mr. Ali should be called to the carpet for this nonsense!