Kobe Bryant On Trayvon Martin: 'I Won't React ... Just Because I'm An African American'; New Yorker Interview Riles Twitter

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is taking heat on Twitter after telling the New Yorker that African-Americans shouldn’t immediately rush to the defense of a black person on the basis of race alone. The Los Angeles Lakers star was referring to the Miami Heat’s support for Trayvon Martin by wearing hoodies.

The Heat, who represent the same state where Trayvon, 17, was killed by community watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012, posed for a picture wearing hoodies -- the article of clothing that became a symbol of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman story (Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera suggested that Trayvon was killed because he was wearing the hoodie.) In a tribute to Trayvon, the Miami Heat posed for a photo wearing hoodies.

While speaking about the Trayvon case and the Heat’s response, Bryant said the rush to defend the teenager, who was unarmed when he was killed by Zimmerman, demonstrated that African-Americans haven’t “progressed as a society.”

“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” Bryant told the New Yorker’s Ben McGrath in the March 31 issue of the magazine. “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.”

The comments didn’t sit well with observers on social media. Some said it showed Bryant was out of touch with the African-American community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even if some Twitter users agreed with Bryant’s philosophy, they said Trayvon’s situation wasn’t the right example to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Discussion