Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James hardly minced words on the best way to honor George Floyd one year after a white police officer killed him by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
"I’m in full support of the George Floyd bill," James said following the Lakers’ Game 2 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. "It will change the landscape of how policing is modified and how policing is looked at. It holds a lot of accountability. It will make our communities and our great nation a better place."
If the United States Senate passes the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the bill "increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements."
“The man literally changed the world.”
LeBron James spoke about George Floyd and his impact on the one-year anniversary of his murder. pic.twitter.com/wGmliMZtkN
The bill also restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds and carotid holds. It said it would create a national registry to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. And it would “create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias, and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.”
On Monday night, the NBA and its Social Justice Coalition also urged lawmakers to pass the legislation.
"This is not political — the George Floyd bill. This has nothing to do if you’re a Republican or a Democrat," said Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, a member of the Social Justice Coalition. "I’m a son of a police officer. This has nothing to do with anti-police. The George Floyd bill, in my opinion, is a bill that both sides should want to pass. It’s a bill where one of the key points is about police training so we can train our police officers better. I think every police officer would want that. So it’s a very positive thing. The fact that it takes six months to be a police officer and it takes about a year and half to get your barber’s license tells you we need more training. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that."
LeBron James (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
Following Floyd’s killing, various NBA players and coaches spoke out on systemic racism both with words and initiatives. The most notable included James, who shortly founded "More Than a Vote" to improve voter turnout and address voter suppression in marginalized communities.
A moment of silence was held in Floyd’s honor before all three NBA games on Tuesday. Nearly three hours after that tribute, James offered condolences to Floyd’s family and described Floyd as "an angel looking over all of us and an angel looking over Black kids in the Black community."
Last month, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Floyd.
"The man literally changed the world," James said of Floyd. "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."
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