If you aren’t a diehard Kobe Bryant fan you may not be aware that he was raised in Italy before making the move to Philadelphia as a teenager. His international upbringing may have given him a different worldview of how race plays a role in our lives. In a recent interview in The New Yorker, the 35-year-old player gave his opinion of the Miami Heat’s Trayvon Martin protest.
“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.”
Kobe’s views of culture and race have raised a brow or two as NFL running back Jim Brown made statements that the Laker shooting guard is “confused about culture in this country because he was brought up in a different country.”
Whether Kobe wanted to weigh the facts of the Trayvon Martin case before making an informed opinion, the hall of famer was not impressed by LeBron James’ and teammates photo of solidarity.