Discussing the divisive Trayvon Martin case in an interview with The New Yorker, NBA star Kobe Bryant said he doesn’t support defending someone just because they are black.
He appeared to be referring to the aftermath of the shooting death of Martin. Many people and political commentators seemingly rushed to assume George Zimmerman was guilty of murder before a trial ever occurred. One of the topics discussed was how members of the Miami Heat wore hoodies in Martin’s memory two years ago.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me,” Bryant said. “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.”
Notice that he didn’t give his opinion on whether he believes Zimmerman is guilty. It was more of a cultural observation. He pointed out that he likes to wait for all the facts before forming an opinion.
Still, his comments were enough to incur the wrath of the left — even though he clarified in a later tweet that he believes Martin was “wronged” and the “system did not work.” That was an opinion he says he came to after listening to the facts of the case.
Take a look at some of the outrage his comments generated via Mediaite:
Kobe could've just shouted out love for Trayvon's parents, said he couldn't imagine their loss and kept it breezy. He didn't.— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) March 27, 2014
My issue is that Kobe reduces the Trayvon Martin outrage to blind racial solidarity, when it was about so much more than that.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 27, 2014
I’m annoyed (not surprised) by Kobe’s stance on Trayvon. We support Martin b/c his race predetermined his fate. Not simply b/c he was black.— rebkah howard (@pink_funk) March 27, 2014
I'm hoping that Kobe didn't know anything about the Trayvon Martin case. People didn't support Trayvon solely because he was black.— Jahmaiah... (@touchthaskye) March 26, 2014