Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James denied that his criticisms of police treatment of minorities have contributed to or motivated violent attacks against police officers, USA Today reported.
James said he is just calling for accountability for police officers, but is not condoning or inciting violence against law enforcement officers.
"Not one time have I ever said let's act violent toward cops," James told reporters after a game Tuesday. "I just said what's going on in our community is not okay. And we fear for that, and we fear for our lives. It's something that we go through every single day as a black man, a black woman, and a black kid and a black girl, we fear that moment where we're pulled over."
James said he doesn't believe all police should be demonized, but he's seen and heard of numerous instances of racism by cops.
"I've never in my 35 years ever condoned violence," James also said Tuesday. "I never have. But I also know what right is right and what wrong is wrong. I grew up in the inner city and the black community in what we call 'the hood' or 'the ghetto,' however you want to picture it. I've seen a lot of accounts first-hand of black people being racially profiled because of our color. I've seen it throughout my whole life. I'm not saying that all cops are bad. Throughout high school and things of that nature, and I'm around them all the time, and they're not all bad.
"But when you see the videos of what's going on, and you see them not only in my hometown, but all over America, you continue to see the acts of violence toward my kind, I can't do nothing but speak about it and see the common denominator," James said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said James should match a $100,000 reward for the person who shot two sheriff's deputies. The two deputies were shot by a person who walked up to their car and opened fire before fleeing, in what appeared to be a targeted ambush of the deputies.
The shooter fled, and police do not yet have a suspect in the shooting. The reward has since been increased to $675,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. James dismissed Villanueva's comments.
"I have zero response on the sheriff," James said.