LeBron James voices his opinion on the nation’s current uproar

In the wake of Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY grand jury’s failing to indict the officers involved in the killings of teenager Michael Brown and Eric Garner, as well as the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, the nation has been in an uproar. Protesters have been marching in several cities and towns across country. Many of those in the public eye have weighed in on the topic while some have opted to remain silent on the matter. During his pre-game shoot around at Madison Square Garden, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar forward LeBron James gave his thoughts on the matter expressing that these are issues that needed to be spoken about and addressed.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s more troubling that it’s happening in our country,” James told reporters during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ morning shootaround at Madison Square Garden yesterday. This is our country, the land of the free, and we keep having these incidents happen, innocent victims or whatever the case may be. Our families are losing loved ones. I’m not pointing the blame at anybody that’s making it happen. In society, we’ve come a long way, but it just goes to show how much further we still have to go.”

He also chimed in on whether or not athletes should be obligated to speak out.

“It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or not. If it hits home for you, then you have the right to speak on it. That’s why we have freedom of speech,” he added. “I’ve never shied away for something that I feel for or people or families that I feel for. That’s just who I am. But I don’t think we should add pressure to anybody, first of all, that doesn’t have the knowledge about it, that’s not educated upon it to speak about something you don’t know about. If you feel passionate about it, you speak about it. If not, don’t worry about it.”

This isn’t the first time that James has spoken out in tragic situations such as these. In 2013, LeBron and his then team, the Miami Heat posted a photo to the web of the entire team wearing hoodies, following the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Former NBA veterans Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith also had a public back and forth in regards to the Ferguson non-indictment.