NBA News: Did Kobe Bryant Betray Afro-American Community? Lakers Star Criticized For Not Siding Trevvor Martin

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By Lou Ramon Aguila | March 28, 2014 6:47 PM EST

Los Angeles Lakers Superstar Kobe Bryant is at the center of controversy recently after his comment attacking Miami Heat's hoodie support for the killing of Trevvor Martin.

Reuters
Kobe and the Lakers

In an interview with New York's Ben McGrath, the Lakers' star had his own take of the Heat's gesture to take a photo of them in hoodies as a sign of solidarity for Trevvor Martin in the controversial George Zimmerman's case.

Bryant, who will sit out for the remainder of the season, said he won't jump to a conclusion because Martin was an Afro-American, saying he needs to listen to the facts first before he makes his own decision.  

"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."

As expected, Bryant received tremendous backlash from online netizens and the Afro-American community for refusing to support Martin, who is believed to be a die-hard fan of the Lakers' star.

"Bryant, who grew up in Italy before playing high school basketball outside of Philadelphia, has endured a torrent of online abuse stemming from his refusal to take up the cause of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, a basketball fan killed on his way back to watch Kobe Bryant in the second half of the 2012 NBA all-star game," via Fox Sports.

Jim Brown also criticized Bryant for being culturally ignorant, believing Bryant's background as a kid who grew up in Italy might have affected his stance over the Martin's case.

"[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country," Brown told the New Yorker.

The 35-year-old Bryant immediately reacted to Brown's statement by posting his take on Twitter.

"A 'Global' African American is an inferior shade to 'American' African American?? #hmmm. that doesn't sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir," Bryant tweeted.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Kobe and the Lakers
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