Mar 27, 2014

Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to respond to the controversy surrounding his Trayvon Martin comments. Here is what he had to say:

Ben McGrath of the New Yorker wrote a very insightful article on basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant, for the March 31st edition of the magazine.  In the article Bryant talks about aging out of his Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers as well as living in Italy and growing up in Philly.

But there is one aspect of the article that has garnered a lot of criticism.  That aspect is Bryant's feelings towards the Miami Heat's protest in support of Trayvon Martin.

Here's the comments Bryant made that's drawn the most criticism:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “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.”

 Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall Bryant having these sentiments when black folks came to his defense after he was accuse of raping a white woman in Colorado.  As a matter of fact, I seem to recall black folks being his most vocal supporters in that matter.  But I could be wrong.

Bryant just strikes me as another person who has the 'Illusion of Inclusion' syndrome.  He is like so many who only invoke it when it benefits them the most.  He was all for black folks support when it suited him, but somehow black people fighting for Trayvon Martin is something that was done only because the teenager was black.  It had absolutely nothing to do with justice.



  1. Since I don't subscribe to the New Yorker, I can't access the full article to read it. In and of itself, I agree with Kobe. I'm not one for "group-think." If he chooses not to speak out about certain issues, I don't begrudge him for that. If he had said that Trayvon deserved to die or that he agreed with Stand Your Ground type laws, then I would view him differently and say that he has been misled. But from what I read, that's not what he said.

    1. Catherine JohnsonMarch 28, 2014 at 6:33 AM

      @AVGJOhanna I disagree with you wholeheartedly. To imply that the only reason that African Americans stood in solidarity with Trayvon Martin because he was black is a convolution of the facts and no different than what white people say about us as a people. The fact that George Zimmerman was able to shoot an unarm teenager and not get arrested is why PEOPLE were outraged it had absolutely nothing to do with "group-think." Group-think came into place when people were blindly supporting Kobe Bryant when he was accused of rape in Colorado. Maybe had people taken a closer look at the facts they would have concluded that Kobe was guilty of the crime that he was accused. I get sick of people saying that black people only defend other blacks because they're black. I don't recall a group of black folks marching down the street for Ray Nagin or Kwame Kilpatrick. Stop short-changing us. We are able to think for ourselves, look at the facts, and draw our own conclusions.

    2. Point taken Catherine. I was just simply commenting on the quote. I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt because many times a quote is lifted out and people run with it.

  2. Keith Boykin posted Kobe's Instagram post after the Zimmerman verdict.