LOS ANGELES – A day after rioters and supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, a pair of Spurs veterans and Lakers forward LeBron James spoke passionately about the events that took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday afternoon.
LaMarcus Aldridge said the mob violence and the lack of police presence compared to a Black Lives Matter protest “should have been a huge eye opener for everyone.”
“If that was a group of Black people going into that building, they would have been more gunfire, probably more people dead,” Aldridge said. “You see videos of the cops taking selfies and it’s just sad. We haven’t realized how bad this is. We’re not making this up.”
The 15-year NBA veteran wondered what would have happened if the mob that stormed the Capitol were mostly made up of Black people.
“It was just crazy to see that many people storming the Capitol and people have guns drawn but don’t do anything. But you have a black person getting out of a car or leaving a store, or doing many other things that aren’t as threatening as that, then they get shot.
They get killed in many different ways, but no one came in early. No one reacted fast. It was very slow, very gentle. If you flip that and make that all black people, that story is totally different. It’s more tragic.”
Aldridge said being Black and growing up as a Black person in America is a completely “different feeling.”
“Hopefully there’s a lot of people upset about this because it is not OK, and that is kind of what we’ve been going through our whole lives. We fear the cops. The people who don’t understand how bad yesterday was in general, they’re a part of the problem for sure.”
James echoed those same sentiments following the Lakers-Spurs game on Thursday night.
“We live in two Americas. That was a prime example of that,” James said via ESPN.com. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts, we already know what would’ve happened to my kind if anyone would have even got close to the Capitol, let alone storm inside the offices, inside the hallways.”
Prior to tipoff, players from both teams locked arms at mid court during the national anthem for a moment of solidarity.
“We are supposed to be a country that’s bonded by unity and we were just trying to show that through our expression,” DeMar DeRozan said. The Spurs guard also spoke about the double standard that was displayed on Wednesday.
“It shows you how divided we are. If yesterday wasn’t evident of what we’ve been going through for years, then I don’t know how else to put it. (It) was a perfect description of what it’s like to be black and brown in this country,” DeRozan said.
Before the game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich blasted Trump, rioters and the lack of police force at the Capitol saying he believed that “Trump enjoyed” the events that took place.