Kobe Bryant blasted by media over racial Trayvon Martin case comment

Photo Source BET.com
Photo Source BET.com

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant offered his perspective on the reaction by many toward the Trayvon Martin case in a recent interview with New Yorker, and quickly found himself caught up in a media firestorm.

“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” the NBA player 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?

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Bryant then expanded on the progress made by African-Americans.

“Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society?” he asked. “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.”

Bryant was being asked about a tweet by fellow NBA star LeBron James in March 2012, posted just a few weeks after Martin was killed:

The reaction to Bryant was swift, with more than one member of the media weighing in, including ESPN’s Jemele Hill and News One host Roland Martin:

Bryant would eventually feel compelled to defend himself amid all the criticism being directed at him:

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