LeBron James has been in the headlines over the past few weeks, but it’s not just because the Lakers’ success on the hardwood. Earlier this month, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a challenge for the face of the NBA.
Villanueva was on the radio when he challenged James to double the award money being offered for information on the gunman who shot two deputies in Compton, California.
“I want to make a challenge. This challenge is to LeBron James,” Villanueva said on 790 KABC in Los Angeles. “I want you to match that and double that reward because I know you care about law enforcement. You expressed a very interesting statement on race relations and officer-involved shootings and the impact it has on the African American community. And I appreciate that.”
Following the Lakers’ game on Tuesday night, James said he had “zero comment” on the sheriff’s challenge. That being said, the four-time MVP had a message to share to the public.
“I’ve never in my 35 years ever condoned violence. Never have. But I also know what’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong,” James said. “I grew up in the inner city in a Black community in what we call the hood or the ghetto. I’ve seen a lot of counts firsthand of a lot of Black people being racially profiled because of our color. And I’ve seen it throughout my whole life.”
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) September 23, 2020
James also commented on a narrative floating around about police, saying “I’m not saying that all cops are bad because throughout high school and things of that nature, and I’m around them all the time, and they’re not all bad.”
This probably won’t be the last time that James is asked about Villanueva’s challenge.
We’ll see LeBron back in action on Thursday night, as the Lakers try to bounce back from a Game 3 loss.