Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, stopped by “NewsOne Now” Friday to respond to comments made by Kobe Bryant in The New Yorker magazine. In an interview, Bryant criticized members of the Miami Heat basketball team for getting involved in the conversation around Trayvon Martin’s killing. NewsOne reported:
In the March 31 issue of the New Yorker, Kobe Bryant discussed life, race and the inevitable conclusion of his illustrious basketball career with Ben McGrath. Perhaps most shocking is Bryant’s assertion that wide-spread support for Trayvon Martin was premature and he refused to show support for the slain teen simply because he’s African American.
According to Colorlines, when McGrath asked Bryant’s opinion on the Miami Heat’s show of solidarity with Martin in the now iconic “Hoodie” photo, the 35-year-old L.A. Laker said that such a move showed lack of “progress.”
“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.”
In response to the comments, Crump replied in part, “All those kids who wear your shoes and wear their hoodies, we want you to consider them and their issues and challenges growing up black in America.”