The mother of a Cleveland boy killed by a policeman who believed he carried a gun says LeBron James not speaking out about a grand jury failing to indict the two cops who encountered him in his last moments of life upsets her.
“I think it’s quite sad that LeBron hasn’t spoken out about my son,” Samaria Rice told NewsOne.
But James says he knows little about Tamir Rice’s case and feels comfortable speaking only when he fully understands the story.
“For me, I’ve always been a guy who’s took pride in knowledge of every situation that I’ve ever spoke on,” James explained to the media late last month. “And to be honest, I haven’t really been on top of this issue. So it’s hard for me to comment. I understand that any lives that [are] lost, what we want more than anything is prayer and the best for the family, for anyone. But for me to comment on the situation, I don’t have enough knowledge about it.”
On November 22, 2014, two Cleveland police officers responded to a report of someone waving a gun around a park. The cops drove upon 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and a rookie police officer fatally shot him. The police discovered the boy actually wielded an Airsoft gun with the orange tip removed. A grand jury judged the evidence in the case, which includes video, not sufficient enough grounds for indictment.
“I’m not asking him to sit out a game,” Ms. Rice explains. “I know his kids got to eat too, but you could at least put a shirt on or something.”
A social-media movement launched last month demanding that James boycott basketball until the police involved in the child’s slaying face a trial. The hashtag “NoJusticeNoLeBron” blasted James for ignoring their cause.
James had earlier spoke out in the Trayvon Martin case and wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in response to loose-cigarette salesman Eric Garner’s fatal heart-attack that occurred while police handled him roughly. His willingness to speak publicly about such politicized tragedies, and the success of the boycott of the University of Missouri football team in forcing the school’s president to resign, caused activists to believe James might corrupt his position as a basketball player to again play politics.
But James remains largely mute on the controversial shooting that happened in the city where he plays basketball.
Ms. Rice says she merely wants athletes to “make a statement for us black people out here.”