LeBron James, Adam Silver and More Comment on Gun Violence, 'Enough' Shirts

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James wears a t-shirt for the 12 victims of Wednesday night's shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sunday he supports players wearing "Enough" T-shirts to honor the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting in California. 

"As I've always said, our players aren't just ballplayers, they're citizens," Silver told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "They have strong feelings about what's happening in society and they react to them. I think this was something that was a groundswell within the league. It came from the players and it spread by word of mouth from one team to another.

"It obviously began here in California and other teams around the league supported them," Silver added. "Again, I support our players' desire to speak out on issues that are important to them and important to society."

Silver was in attendance for Sunday's game between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers, which featured players wearing the black shirts with the victims' names during warmups. Ian David Long, a Marine veteran with mental health issues, killed 12 people at a bar last week before committing suicide.

"Probably the same that went through everybody's mind: 'Not again.' Or: 'Wow.' 'What the hell?'" LeBron James said of what went through his mind when he heard about the shooting. "Probably some more explicit terms that I won't say right here. It's just how do we clean up this. ... It all comes back to this gun situation that we have in America and gun violence. I don't want to go into that right now, but I can do it at a later point. We know that these people are just being able to go and buy guns and do things with them, and innocent lives are being taken at young ages. Young ages."

The Lakers forward has spoken out against gun violence on multiple occasions in the past. James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony opened the 2016 ESPYS with an impassioned speech calling on all athletes to "do better" in pushing for social change. 

"You know, when I was younger we didn't really have to worry about gun violence too much," James said. "I mean, if you had a problem with somebody you kind of fist it out and move on. And now, it's like people are like shooting it out and don't even have a problem with somebody. They just got a problem with themselves or a problem with the situation that they're in.

"It's just very troubling times for everyone and for parents," James continued. "It's just how can you be comfortable with sending your kids to school or sending them to church or sending them to the movies or sending them to the mall? Those are kind of like the great havens when I was growing up: school, church, go to the mall, go to a sporting event. That was like heaven. You know? And it's kind of scary at this point and time."

The Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks wore the T-shirts before their game Saturday.