The Trayvon Martin comment by Kobe Bryant has triggered a firestorm of criticism, with some organizations claiming the NBA player should be boycotted in response.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, a police officer lost his job because he called Trayvon Martin a thug during the same time frame when George Zimmerman was featured as a celebrity at an Orlando gun show.
"I won't react to something just because I'm supposed to, because I'm an African American. 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."In response, Hall of Fame NFL running back Jim Brown says Bryant "is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country." It's true that the 35-year-old Lakers super star spent his youth in Italy, where his own father was a professional basketball player. But civil rights activist Najee Ali doesn't limit himself to criticizing the NBA star, he claims a Kobe Bryant boycott is in order:
"African American youth should no longer buy Bryant's jerseys or shoes and should boycott all products he endorses. Bryant doesn't identify with the struggle that our African-American youth face nationally. So why should we continue to support Bryant who has never truly identified with the African American experience."At the same time, Bryant followed up his quote by explaining how he really feels about Trayvon Martin:
Travon Martin was wronged THATS my opinion and thats what I believe the FACTS showed. The system did not work #myopinion #tweetURthoughtsDo you agree with Kobe Bryant that Trayvon Martin was wronged by George Zimmerman being declared not guilty? Do you also agree with the Lakers star that African Americans should not rush to defend someone just because the color of their skin?
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 27, 2014
Just found out @kobebryant posted this on Instagram on July 15 last year, 2 days after Zimmerman was acquitted. pic.twitter.com/5Dqt8gsROo
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 28, 2014