Last week, Lakers star Kobe Bryant found himself at the center of a social media firestorm when critics slammed him for his comments on the Trayvon Martin case. Now, Bryant's fellow ball player, Dwyane Wade is responding to the Lakers frontrunner saying the Miami Heat's actions had nothing to do with race.
During an interview for the April 4th issue of the New Yorker, Bryant had some interesting thoughts on the events surrounding the case that captured national attention. According to Colorlines, he specifically criticized Lebron James and the Miami Heat for posting a photo wearing hoodies in solidarity with the teen's family.
"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."
But Wade rebutted, saying the team's support had more to do with the fact that the incident happened locally and less about the fact that the teen was black.
"It was our backyard, and being in our backyard, being something that a lot of guys on this team—not only growing up in the kind of environment that Trayvon was in—but also having young boys," Wade told Bleacher Report. "Knowing that he is a big fan of the Miami Heat. That is something that we got behind. As a team. I can't even say the organization. It was as a team. We got behind it. And it was more so that than the color of his skin."
Despite this difference in opinion, the two ball players have always had an amicable relationship. Wade has praised the LA baller as the greatest player of his era -- although critics have debated whether or not Wade's teammate Lebron James deserves that title.
Many people, including news correspondent Roland Martin, took to Twitter to express their anger over Bryant's sentiments. But Bryant defended himself:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 27, 2014
He went on to put the debate to rest once and for all.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 28, 2014
Critical or not. We've had a ton of convo the last few days about a BIG issue. That's always a good thing. Luv to ALL who tweeted thoughts
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 29, 2014