LeBron James has spoken out against police brutality following the tragic incident in which George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.
A video clip that emerged online on Monday showed the moment that the officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, attempted to restrain Floyd by kneeling on his neck.
Floyd, who was unarmed at the time, could be heard in the video telling the officer that he could not breathe, but the officer ignored him.
The video sparked fury, and the officers involved in the incident were fired on Tuesday following angry protests.
LeBron posted a comparison to Colin Kaepernick kneeling
LeBron took to Instagram on Tuesday night to post a photo of the former NFL star Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S.
The Los Angeles Lakers star posted a still from the video showing the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
He captioned the photo:
“Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke.”
Kaepernick’s kneeling protest sparked a national controversy. Some praised him for taking a principled stand on the issue of social injustice, while many others claimed that his action disrespected the country and its armed forces.
Due to the fierce controversy sparked by his action, the NFL quarterback, who played for the San Francisco 49ers for six seasons, ended up being blacklisted by the NFL. He remained unsigned after he became a free agent at the end of the 2016 season.
LeBron also took to Instagram Story to post a photo and video of Floyd’s arrest. He captioned the post:
“Like I said before, we’re hunted. #staywoke.”
LeBron was among several celebs who reacted on social media
Several other celebrities took to social media to voice their anger and frustration over the incident.
You deserved your breath, your dignity, your life. Not to die in the street, murdered by a white cop’s knee on your neck. You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action. We must act – for you – and for all of those were no cameras are present. We must. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/JeMNUtkXv6
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 27, 2020
This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/gyuaoC6vUh
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Not three ,not five but almost 15 minutes of a cop knees on a mans neck while handcuffed😒😒😒It’s so sickening.Things have to change !!
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) May 27, 2020
My heart can’t take it, seeing what’s happened to #GeorgeFloyd. This is eerily similar to the death of #EricGarner. There has to be a stopping point in the process of arresting someone. It’s all senseless 💔
— Ciara (@ciara) May 26, 2020
This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being Black. We are dictated by hundreds of years of policies that have restricted our very existence and still have to continue to face modern day lynchings. Here's the thing……https://t.co/U0EfytNwdg pic.twitter.com/IimJn3RXlk
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 26, 2020
LeBron had previously reacted to Ahmaud Arbery’s death
LeBron’s “we’re hunted” caption of his Instagram post recalled his previous Instagram reaction to the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery was shot dead in February after two armed vigilantes approached him while jogging through a Satilla Shores neighborhood in Georgia.
LeBron had captioned his post in reaction to Arbery’s death:
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man!”
James is known for his outspokenness on issues relating to police brutality and social injustice.