Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is arguably the most influential player in the NBA today.
Because of that, he has spoken out on countless societal and cultural issues.
For the past week, many have wondered where James stood on the controversy surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving.
On Friday night, the Lakers star responded.
“I can’t speak for 450 players,” James said.
“I don’t condone any hate to any kind. To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand.”
James then specifically added that Irving’s actions did cause harm.
“He caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate,” James said.
“But I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
Obviously James’ strong stance on the topic sits in stark contrast to what at least one notable NBA star said earlier the same day.
James and Irving have had a really fascinating hot-cold relationship over the past few years, so him taking such a hard position on this subject is fascinating.
Sometimes it seems like they’re in a really good place and hosting secret get-togethers to plan a Los Angeles Lakers team-up.
Other times, they’re caught on video having some very uncomfortable public encounters that make people cringe.
It’s a weird dynamic.
Kendall’s intimate message for D. Book. https://t.co/JQNhIlvTBd
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 4, 2022
In any case, James has made his opinion on Irving’s comments crystal clear. No one can accuse him of sitting on the sidelines regarding this topic any longer.
Will any other NBA players ultimately choose to follow suit in the coming days and weeks?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.