NBA superstar LeBron James reacted to the chaos at the U.S. Capitol by criticizing the tenure of President Donald Trump and claiming there are two different “AMERIKKKAS,” where Black Lives Matter rioters are treated worse than the rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Before Thursday’s Los Angeles Lakers game against the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron walked into the Staples Center wearing a shirt that read: “DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?” In a smaller font, the shirt stated: “In memoriam of the countless Black lives lost to police brutality and racial injustice.”
LeBron posted a photo of him wearing his shirt on Instagram.
“DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW???!! I know the answer to that,” LeBron wrote on Instagram, and included several cursing angry emojis. “You still don’t cause no matter what happens you still won’t be judge, looked at crazy, chained, beaten, hung, shot to death cause of the color of your skin!!!! 2 AMERIKKKAS we live in and it was at FULL CAPACITY LIVE IN DIRECT yesterday in our Nations CAPITAL AT THE CAPITOL!!”
James tagged the post with the hashtag: #IPrayForBetterDaysForMyPeople.
Following the game, James commented on the riots at the U.S. Capitol. The Lakers star suggested that Trump supporters received preferential treatment from law enforcement during the unrest in Washington, D.C., and labeled those involved as “terrorists.”
“And that was a prime example of that yesterday, and if you don’t understand that or don’t see that after seeing what you saw yesterday, then you really need to take a step back — not even just one step, but maybe four or five, or even 10 steps backwards and ask yourself how do you want your kids, or how do you want your grandkids, or how do we want America to be viewed as?” James said during a post-game press conference. “Do we want to live in this beautiful country?”
“If those were my kind storming the Capitol, what would have been the outcome? And I think we all know,” James said during his diatribe. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts — we already know what would’ve happened to my kind if anyone would have even got close to the Capitol, let alone storm inside the offices, inside the hallways.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 8, 2021
James asked, “Do you understand how hard it is for us [black people] to continue to live our lives the way we live, continue to inspire, continue to give everything we got?
“Everyone jumps on the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring, the way we dress, our music, our culture, our food,” LeBron ranted. “Everyone steals from what we do, and then they want to act like they did it or they brought it to this world.
“We don’t get our due diligence, the respect, we don’t get anything back from this country apart from a slap in the face,” said the 36-year-old NBA superstar who earns about $100 million a year and has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
LeBron’s teammate, Lakers forward Anthony Davis, compared the chaos at the Capitol with the Black Lives Matter protests and riots that happened over the summer.
“It’s like a double standard,” Davis said. “On the other side, an entire group runs into the nation’s Capitol and get escorted.”
Capitol Police, U.S. Park Police, D.C. Police, and National Guard removed Trump supporters from the Capitol building. Authorities used pepper spray, fired tear gas canisters, flashbang grenades, and smoke explosives to disperse the crowd. These are many of the same types of crowd control munitions that law enforcement has used during violent protests and riots that have regularly occurred in American cities since the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25.
Shortly after the storming of the Capitol building, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) instituted a 6 p.m. curfew and extended her declaration of a public emergency for an additional 15 days.
Four protesters died during the Capitol protests, three from “medical emergencies,” and Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer while trying to climb through a window in the building.
There were 60 law enforcement officers who were injured during the riot, including 15 who were hospitalized, according to The Hill. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died on Thursday evening. He succumbed to his injuries that he suffered “while physically engaging with protesters.”
LeBron, a vocal and longtime supporter of the Democrats, focused his anger on Trump, and blamed the president for the situation at the nation’s capital.
“The events that took place yesterday was a direct correlation of the president that’s in the seat right now — of his actions, his beliefs, his wishes,” James said. “He cares about nobody besides himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn’t care about this country. He doesn’t care about his family. He doesn’t care about anybody besides himself.”
“Four years ago, I sat there and said this is the beginning of the end for our country,” said LeBron, who has been an ardent critic of Trump. “And hopefully it only lasts four years.
“But the one thing you can’t get back in life, one thing you can never get back, and that’s time,” James continued. “Can’t get back time. We’ve literally just s**tted away four years. How do we recoup that?”