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Kobe Bryant Blasts Miami Heat's Tribute to Trayvon Martin

Categories: Sports

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Kobe Bryant is the subject of a sobering New Yorker profile that follows the basketball icon as he enters the waning days of his playing career. Bryant takes aim at the Miami Heat during an interview. Not for anything basketball related, but rather, oddly, for the team's public tribute to slain Miami-Dade teenager Trayvon Martin.

See also: Trayvon Martin: Miami Heat Pose in Hoodies

Back in March 2012, LeBron James posted a photo on Instagram of 13 heat players donning hoodies with the hashtags #WeAreTrayvonMartin, #Hoodies, #Stereotyped and #WeWantJustice:

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In 2013, after George Zimmerman avoided a guilty verdict, Dwyane Wade took his thoughts to Twitter.

"Wow!!! Stunned!!! Saddened as a father!!! Some1 make sense of this verdict for me right now please!!! Don't worry I'll wait...," he wrote. "How do I explain this to my young boys????"

"@DwyaneWade there is no such thing as justice," wrote Heat owner Micky Arison in a reply. "Life is not fair. U just do the best u can. Hug those kids & tell them u love them."

Writer Ben McGrath asked Bryant how he felt about the photo:

"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."

Bryant apparently though failed to realize that Martin lived in Miami-Dade County and his killer was let go under a controversial Florida law, and that many Miami Heat players are raising their own young sons in Florida. It seems easy to us to see that the Heat player's reaction wasn't just all about race, but also about the local community and their fears for their own children as well.

Former NFL running back Jim Brown is quoted later in the article, expelling that, "[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country." Bryant of course spent chunks of his childhood in Italy where his father played professional basketball.

Bryant took offense to those comments on Twitter.

No Heat player has yet commented on Bryant's views.

Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder, or follow him on Twitter.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.


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66 comments
dolphins_make_me_cry
dolphins_make_me_cry

Kyle Munzenrieder, retake Journalism 101. "Bryant apparently though failed to realize that Martin lived in Miami-Dade County and his killer was let go under a controversial Florida law, and that many Miami Heat players are raising their own young sons in Florida."   Zimmerman's legal team never invoked "Stand your Ground".  He pleaded self defense,  not the same thing.

Kenny Russell
Kenny Russell

It was their choice collectively so we should respect their decision. They are not hurting anyone in the process. Freedom to express. Kobe is being Kobe, he is bored and is looking for attention.

Fernando Buch
Fernando Buch

The kid was from South Florida, they are the champions, I thought it was thoughtful.

DERP
DERP

Yeah....Stand Your Ground wasn't used in zimmerman's defense. At all. Keep spreading misinformation. Moron.

Phillip Soto
Phillip Soto

The Heat didn't support Trayvon only because he was black, but because his fate was already being determined for his race

Fabian De La Rosa
Fabian De La Rosa

Adam rz are you serious? No they are holding his dead ass legs to where he belongs a chair on the bench.

cto1usn
cto1usn

I'm not a big basketball fan but I like the Miami Heats Social Statement! Good for them.

Xandr Rotiq
Xandr Rotiq

what kobe really wants to say:"put me in coach"

Vanny Sampedro
Vanny Sampedro

I honestly believe it was a hate crime and I'm glad the Miami heat is standing up for this teenager!

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia

I'm a Heat fan and Kobe hater but agree with him! Don't pick a political stand on something you're not completely informed on!

Maria Tomaino
Maria Tomaino

Breaking news: Kobe weighs in on the OJ Simpson trial...

Stephen Ferguson
Stephen Ferguson

Kobe is a year and a half too late. Where was he when this originally went down. Guess he has too much time on his hands.

Gilda Scott
Gilda Scott

Tell kobe to sit on it and see if he can get another championship

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Kobe met a woman in a bar, had drinks with her and invited her back to his room where she went willingly. What was she expecting was going to happen? A game of chess? Religious discussion? If I had been the judge in that case I would have thrown it out in five minutes. A woman who willingly goes with a man to a hotel room knows there is only one reason for it.

Howard Green Montaque
Howard Green Montaque

I understand the part about the need to know what really happened before you jump to conclusions. While its a sad situation that Zimmerman got off what really bugs me is that you didnt see one of those guys doing something like this for the little girls killed in Liberty City by drive by shootings not long after this happened. Black people should be more outraged by black on black crime.

Carlos Tovar
Carlos Tovar

Kobe acting like a douchebag. This just in, water is also wet.

Pablo Sixx Casas
Pablo Sixx Casas

Kobe is a sexual predator n rapist for raping that girl in Colorado, piece of shit !

Evan Wheeler
Evan Wheeler

Does he feel they should have reacted because a psychopath stalked a 17 year old kid and then shot him?

Lee Just Lee
Lee Just Lee

I'd have to see the ENTIRE context of the statement. I can't say that I disagree with the base sentiment. Chuck D said "every brother ain't a brother, " and he was right. And in the most base sentiment Bryant is saying he doesn't side with every person of color. I agree with that. If we disagreed Herman Cain would be president and Allen West would be next in line simply for being "Black".

Alex Coello
Alex Coello

Lee Just Lee id post it on your page if i could.

Nellz Nunez
Nellz Nunez

Kobe needs to take a sip from the "sit the fuck down" cup. Lml

diack
diack

Right on Kobe.

Learie Job
Learie Job

I guess kobe believes all the black stars should be sellouts like he is.....

Stayonthejumpshot
Stayonthejumpshot

Kobe is right but more in the fact that the Heat had no business making a political statement of any kind.  It's the same thing as asking movie stars what their political views are.  They (movie stars, athletes..etc) are there for a reason: to do their job.  If I want a political opinion or statement, I'll look to someone in that field. 

Kristofer Thomas
Kristofer Thomas

Some say Kobe Bryant is a well - known unapologetic, ignorant a**hole. While his point may have a smidgen of validity, his opinion is practically useless and irrelevant. It's a fact, he has hard time organizing a team, whether it be for something positive or negative. If Kobe supported the cause, he'd be the only one standing in the picture. Next story please!

Eric Rich
Eric Rich

Kobe maddd hhis teams sux Bull Balls hahaaa

Diana Leary
Diana Leary

I agree but I think Kobe has too much time on his hands.

Davis De Leon
Davis De Leon

Kobe's point about blk ppl not jumping to defend a blk person is a very valid and reasonable point. HOWEVER, he assumed the Heat players were doing this, when in fact they knew the details of the case and were reacting to a specific and well-known case of what is widely-recognized as an unfair (Stand ur Ground) rule and an unfair ruling by the Court. Therefore, Kobe was wrong in assuming the Heat's process was flawed.

Adam Rz
Adam Rz

Kobe is right and for the record neither Lebron or Wade can carry his water bottle on the court

Vince Witty
Vince Witty

Kobe is so dumb lol have fun on the worst Lakers team ever bro

Michael Walker
Michael Walker

I guess when Kobe is on a bum knee and Achilles he has nothing better to do than talk about Shaq or Miami heat. Because he for damn sure isn't talking about the Lakers as bad as they are

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................well the team had to respond publicly somehow so it doesn't look like it is unsympathetic to their BLACK fan base and WHITE fans are going to buy tickets regardless = period


otherwise i think a better display would have been for everyone to be holding a LIBRARY BOOK because if more BLACK kids go to the library they won't get shot - not ONE black kid has yet been SHOT while in the library = period

Renee Simone Wright
Renee Simone Wright

Sheldon, there is never a "need" for anybody to get involved in any injustice or social cause. The fact they choose to support various causes as an organization and as individuals, even at the risk of critism is admirable. Kobe is not right - they didnt do it JUST beacause Martin was AA, but because they feel young boys, just like their own sons, have a right to be safe, not stereotyped and killed for simply being what they are, when minding their own business. Anybody who thinks they did it 'just because' is clueless.

Tatiana Amaro
Tatiana Amaro

Excuse me but... Fuck Kobe let my men do whatever they want!!

Jen Die
Jen Die

Wade and James SHOULD feel different, because they are raising BLACK boys. Last time i checked, Kobe had MIXED children...so of course he wouldn't NEVER have to worry about that type of situation.

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