All-Star Weekend has the sports world buzzing with excitement, but Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James‘ latest interview is hitting a more serious note and revealing that, even as a star player, he’s concerned about the precautions his black sons have to take to avoid becoming victims of police brutality.
During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, James touched on the Ohio police shooting that left 12-year-old Tamir Rice dead last November — an event that resonates with the 30-year-old father of three. When asked if he’s had the “talk” with his sons, LeBron said:
“I have those conversations with my boys. They have tons of play guns. None of them look real. We have Nerf guns that are lime green and purple and yellow,” he says. “But I don’t even let them take them out of the house.”
Tamir was playing at a park with a toy gun when he was fatally shot by a rookie police officer.
He continued, detailing what he will tell his sons — LeBron Jr., and Bryce Maximus — about how to respond during encounters with officers.
“And the talk is, ‘You be respectful, you do what’s asked and you let them do their job, and we’ll take care of the rest after. You don’t have to boast and brag and automatically think it’s us against the police.’ I’ve had one or two encounters with the police in my life that were nothing. But sometimes you just got to shut up. It’s that simple. Just be quiet and let them do their job and go on about your life and hopefully things go well.”
In recent months, James has been vocal about dismantling police violence nationwide. In December, James and a handful of NBA players donned “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts, an act of solidarity to honor the life of Eric Garner, the father of six who died when an NYPD officer placed him in an illegal chokehold last summer.
“It’s not a Cavs thing,” James told ESPN at the time. “It’s a worldly thing.”
“It’s just for us to make a [statement] to understand what we’re going through as a society,” James said when asked about the T-shirt. “I’ve been quoted over and over about what’s going on as far as it’s more of a notion to the family, more than anything. Obviously, as a society we have to do better. We have to be better for one another. It doesn’t matter what race you are. It’s more of a shout out to the family more than anything, because they’re the ones that should be getting all the energy and effort.”
Read James’ entire Hollywood Reporter interview here.
SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty