Samaria Rice, the mother of slain 12-year-old Tamir Rice, is disappointed that Lebron James was reluctant to comment on her son’s case last week.
Rice was killed in Nov. 2014 after he was shot by rookie patrolman Timothy Loehman outside a Cleveland recreation center. After a grand jury ultimately acquitted Loehman of all charges, activists on Twitter asked the Cleveland Cavalier star to refrain from playing as a way to protest the non-indictment.
However, James played anyway and when asked about the case, he told ESPN:
"For me, I've always been a guy who's took pride in the knowledge of every situation I've ever spoke on. To be completely honest, I haven't really been on top of this issue. So it's hard for me to comment on it."
Tamir’s mother was not involved in the original movement asking James to comment, but she told NewsOne Now’s Roland Martin on Wednesday that she still expected a substantive response from the decorated athlete.
"I think it's quite sad that LeBron hasn't spoken out about my son. I'm not asking him to sit out a game,” she said. “I know his kids got to eat too, but you could at least put a shirt on or something... I'm not asking nobody to quit their job or anything but, make a statement for us black people out here."
James' lack of comment came as a surprise considering his history of social activism. In 2012, he posed in a hoodie to honor the life of Trayvon Martin, in 2014, he wore a shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” to protest the police killing of Eric Garner, and he has publicly spoken out about gun violence in America.
He has also discussed the precautions he takes with his own sons when it comes to protection from police.
“They have tons of play guns. None of them look real,” he told The Hollywood Reporter last February. “We have Nerf guns that are lime green and purple and yellow. But I don't even let them take them out of the house."
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