Lakers' LeBron James Comments on George Floyd, 'More Than a Vote' and Social Justice

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game 1 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James expressed support for the George Floyd bill on Tuesday night and remembered Floyd one year after his death.

While addressing the media following L.A.'s 109-102 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series, James was asked about social justice (beginning at the 1:03 mark):

James said he is in "full support" of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and qualified immunity for law enforcement in addition to creating more accountability for police officers, per ESPN's Royce Young.

Floyd was murdered last year aged 46 by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kept his knee pressed against the back of Floyd's neck while pinning him to the ground for several minutes and refused to relent despite Floyd saying on multiple occasions that he couldn't breathe.

James thanked the NBA, NBA Players Association and WNBA for supporting the bill dedicated to Floyd, and he noted that his own More Than A Vote initiative is backing it as well.

Per Libby Cathey and Mariam Khan of ABC News, Floyd's family met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday amid the bill stalling in Congress.

While discussing Floyd one year after his death, James said: "The man literally changed the world. It’s unfortunate his family has to grieve and still ask questions of why. But he’s literally changed the world, and there’s been so many conversations."

LeBron added: "Much respect to [Floyd]. He's an angel looking over all of us, looking over all these Black kids in the Black community. And his family, I continue my well wishes to them."

In April, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He will be sentenced on June 16.

Following Floyd's death, demonstrations broke out across the United States and the world to protest against systemic racism and police brutality against Black people.

The passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act could represent a significant step in preventing police brutality and punishing officers who break the law, although the bill will require additional support in order to come into law.