Friday, March 23rd, 2012 at 7:45 pm  |  71 responses

NBA Players Association Releases Statement on Trayvon Martin Killing

We’ve already seen LeBron James, teammate Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat show support for the family of the slain teenager Trayvon Martin. And now, the NBA Players Association takes the unexpected step of releasing a statement about the killing: ”The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) offers its condolences to the family and loved ones of Trayvon Martin in their time of need. The NBPA is saddened and horrified by the tragic murder of Mr. Martin and joins in the chorus of calls from across the nation for the prompt arrest of George Zimmerman. The reported facts surrounding Mr. Zimmerman’s actions indicate a callous disregard for Mr. Martin’s young life and necessitate that he stand trial. The NBPA also calls for the permanent resignation of Sanford Chief of Police Bill Lee and a full review of the Sanford Police Department, for dereliction of duty and racial bias in this matter and others. Their silence in the face of this injustice is reprehensible and they cannot be trusted to safe guard the citizens of the Sanford community equally. The NBPA seeks to ensure that Trayvon Martin’s murder not go unpunished and the elimination of the injustices suffered by the innocent.”

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  • Heals

    Props to LBJ iniating the Heat organization/players into getting involved before the L did…

  • http://about.me/SandyDover San Dova


  • Jerome

    Sad to see racially based disregard making a comeback in N. America … oh wait, it never left. My condolences to the Martin family.

  • niio

    Wow…this is stupid. just dumb to make a comment like this without all the facts. The nbpa should worry about the multiple nba players that have murdered people and be outraged with them.

  • Michael

    Seriously – the NBAPA needs to make a statement on this! Even the Heat have no place in something which took place over 200 miles away.

  • http://slamonline.com sam

    hey niio….if it was a 200+ pound black dude and 130 pound white dude YOU GOOD OL’ BOYS would be calling for the death penalty…it’s a shame that logic like yours exists in this present time and I just hope that YOU GUYS educate yourselves before YOU GUYS are the minority in this country

  • http://www.iowsports.com/ Blue

    @ niio: You are using the same type of judgement towards NBA players as George Zimmerman used towards Trayvon Martin. Next time, be original.

  • Joe

    Billy Hunter is such a joke. The NBA wiped the floor with him in the last CBA and now he’s releasing statements like he’s the long lost third member of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton Triumvirate of Race-Baiting Clowns. Get a clue, Billy, you big dope.

  • niio

    Sam…it was a Mexican guy that shot him…I know its hard for black people to read

  • Ashley

    @niio: It’s because of ignorant people like you that the race continues to be America’s elephant in the room. I know you won’t be, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Not only are you responsible for an elementary argumentative fallacy, but for furthering the ideologies that continue to prevent us as humans from appreciating our differences. Whether Zimmerman’s actions were racially motivated or not, the point is that a young boy is dead, and will never experience some of the most beautiful moments that life has to offer. Because someone was trigger happy and paranoid. By the way, Zimmerman is a white Hispanic. Very different from someone of Mexican heritage. I almost feel bad for you. I’ll be impressed if you have read this entire comment.

    A Black Woman Who Can Read

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ You’re an idiot.

  • niio

    Shut up u little dicked Asian

  • Sam

    His not Mexican. He is half white half Peruvian but he call himself white because he want to get police job

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ You’re just saying that ’cause I stole your f*ck buddy… That being your sister. Now eat a mayo sandwich and kindly shut the f*ck up, Cleatus.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    It’s not worth it, Teddy-the Bear. You can’t argue with the rocket scientist above.

  • Liss

    NIO hush, you sound ridiculous. NBA players murdering people uummmm, you passed judgement just like Zimmerman did. And the NBA has all right because, that all Trayvon wanted to do was get home with his bag of SKITTLES AND TEA to finsih watching the playoffs. And a parnoid FREAK kept him from doing that.

  • Liss

    Zimmerman had no right to follow Martin, Zimmerman had no right to question Martin. He is not a peace officer or a security guard. He was driving an unmarked car. Martin had the right to run from Zimmerman and Martin had the right to not answer the questions Zimmerman asked. Zimmerman was just as much of a stranger to Martin as Martin was to him. A stranger approaches and questions you, your not gonna answer, no one in their right minds would. COLD BLOODED KILLER IS ALL I GOT TO SAY.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It’s funny how conservatives argued that Barack Obama wasn’t really black because his mother is white, but they say Zimmerman is definitely Latina despite having a white father.
    Y’all will say anything at this point.

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    Wow, comments here went south very quickly. Glad to see that you fight racism with racism, pr*cks.

  • @tjwacker

    I am very pleased to see a high-profile organization take and vocalize a stand on this injustice.

  • robb

    @Ashley yeah unfortunately America is a trigger happy country, and trigger happy actions are becoming more and more common. Trayvon’s case may or may not have racist implications but Americans having easy access to guns is definitely a major concern. A man like Zimmerman shouldn’t be able to get a gun in the first place. This is very sad.

  • shutup

    Please stop using platforms such as this to spit your anti-gun rhetoric. Violence happens in the world, guns or no guns. Point blank period. All of mine are legal and registered. Criminals who live outside the law are the problem. Stricter regulations only mean that law-abiding citizens will have fewer means to protect themselves. Cars kill people should we ban them too? How about fire? Do you really want to speak on religion? C’mon now, evil is out there, when push comes to shove which side of the gun do you wanna be on?

  • Dominic

    This article is painting Mr. Zimmerman out to be some crook. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Let me find out that Zimmerman is the new Byron De la Beckwith…

  • Dominic

    Mr. Beckwith killed Mr. Evers out of spite and hate, while Mr. Zimmerman did this out of fear for his life. And wether or not you agree with Mr. Zimmerman he is not being detained, so at this moment is a free a man as me and you

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Beckwith stayed free. For too long.
    Zimmerman is staying free. For too long.
    If a man is afraid for his life, then, he is running away from the situation most of the time.
    The same way Trayvon Martin did.
    According to multiple witnesses…

  • http://slamonline.com sam

    niio: im indian not black, and believe me Im well educated…my inference was not that zimmerman was white, it’s just that if it was a black man shooting dead a white man you would have a much different sympathy to the victim….please read more, travel more and just take a deep breath and maybe you’ll gain some knowledge

  • Dominic

    I agree Mr. Beckwith was free far too long, but Mr. Zimmerman as a citizen in this country has a right to a fair trial. But he won’t get one with the president implying he is guilty of murder.

  • Dominic

    I agree with Mr. Sam. If the victim was white then the president, nbapa, and civil rights groups wouldn’t care at all

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Beckwith didn’t get a fair trial, either. For, there would have been a conviction long before he was an old man.
    He was aquitted first.
    That is not a fair trial.
    As a citizen of the United States of America.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Out of fear for his life, my a**. That clown went out that night looking for trouble and was more than willing to use deadly force against an unarmed kid. Get out of here with that BS.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    I must say I’m not sure who the winner is for stupidest comment. Between referring to white people as “YOU GUYS”, someone really trying to say Zimmerman feared for his life, and everything niio says it is hard to choose. All I am going to say is that nobody gave the James Craig Anderson case any attention at all. Read up on what happened, it is disgusting but justice was served. I don’t understand why the NBAPA is taking a political position but I’m glad they are.

  • http://thetroyoblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    It’s not a political position–it’s actually not even that complicated of a situation. It’s a simple right and wrong, and what Zimmerman did was clearly wrong. And it’s even worse that he hasn’t even been arrested, never mind a trial. That’s why people are upset.

  • http://thetroyoblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Dominic: Oh please, cut that “white victim of reverse discrimination” crap. If the victim was white and the killer was black, the NBPA and civil rights groups wouldn’t have to do anything because chances are, that black man would be given the death penalty (or at least a life sentence).
    Nearly half of the murder victims in America are black, yet 77% of all death sentences are given to murderers of white victims, and only 15% given to those of black victims. Since 1976, there have been 253 black people executed for killing white people. The number of white people executed for killing black people since then is 18.
    The only thing you’re right about is that it WOULD be a lot different if the victim were white, as it almost always has been.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Teddy it is the “right” political position, but taking a stance on an issue like this is a political position. This is a national issue, not a basketball issue. I’m glad they said something tho

  • robb

    @shutup ” when push comes to shove which side of the gun do you wanna be on?” Zimmerman obviously thought the same. And cars are not designed to be used as weapons, that’s a stupid comparison. A gun is designed to kill. Give a paranoid idiot like Zimmerman the chance to get one and look what happens.

  • bike

    Dominic: Take reading lesson fast. The neighbors admit the guy was OBSESSED with warning them against young black males. He was caught saying “These c**ns always get away”. Someone in fear for their life doesn’t follow a random a random stranger who did nothing at all. Shutup and learn some facts before you post stupid comments.

  • dazzy

    @robb: Do you know how innocent before proven is applied in this country? LEGALLY!!! I hate when ignorant people try to quote certain facets of the Constitution and don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. The COURTS have an obligation to view any defendent as innocent before proven guilty. It has NOTHING to do with public opinion. Stop misusing that phrase because it makes you look stupid. Even if a court deemed him innocent, it doesn’t make him morally innocent. Until you understand what you are saying, stop quoting tiny pieces of a document you’ve never read in you life. George Zimmerman and his ilk get sympathy because too many idiots in this country are proud of their ignorance.

  • dazzy

    My comment was @ Dominic’s dumb*ss, not robb. Although robb, don’t come with that may or may not have racial implications crap. The 911 tape, which the police intentionally only released part of, caught Zimmerman using a racial slur for black people. I love how whites always give these guys the benefit of the doubt, even with clear cut evidence smfh.

  • http://sdjfklfl.com Jukai

    Ah, classic SLAM. A good cause by the NBA, a thread filled with misinformation, a racist coming out of the woodworks, no moderators around, and Teddy making racial white comments in retaliation.
    Classsssic SLAM.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign Ashley above. Your comment didn’t load when I typed ^ “You’re an idiot,” because that was obviously directed at niio and not you. You’re 100% right.

  • TonyStarks

    Slam: Can we clean up some of these comments?

  • dazzy

    Teddy, you’re one of the very few actual intelligent regulars on this site.

  • Raseven7

    Wow Zimmerman feared for his life?If his racist ass listened to the cops and stayed in the car he would not have had a reason to fear for his life.

  • http://WWW.SLAMONLINE.COM Benn0

    Last time some was shot in the UK, we had riots.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    cosign bike smh

  • james aka…

    First of all, i am very impressed by the efforts of players as individuals and of the association for actually looking out beyond their own worlds to comment on something serious and in the news. Often issues like this aren’t addressed, and I’m glad that the union is using their political clout to do something beyond collective bargaining.

    Secondly to the facts of the case. It is establish that a man with a well known reputation for appealing to the police without cause contacted them that night when the high school student was walking through his neighborhood. It should be noted that walking through the neighborhood is not an act of criminal trespass, so we have no idea why he called the police at this point, even if we can guess.

    The high school student had no items on him that suggest he was doing anything other than walking. No weapons or other possibly criminal paraphernalia, and we have no other evidence to depict a scenario where the high school student had any reason to be spotted and followed by this individual.

    We have 3 accounts of the events that occurred.
    First the shooter alleges he was attacked by the high school student. This story was in the initial report and seems to have been retracted.
    The second account is also from the shooter, who said he got into a struggle, and in fearing for his life, drew a gun he had on his person shooting an unarmed high school student who had followed, against the instructions of the police.

    The other account is from the recollection of the high school students girlfriend (or possibly just female friend) who recounts a cell phone conversation where the high school student mentioned first that he was being followed, then that he was going to walk fast to get away from this person (his girlfriend recommending running), and then finally the sound of a struggle as the individual accosted him, without cause, before the line went dead from the cell phone dropping.

    In other words, the differing facts of the case boil down to the words of the shooter, who has a history of harassing behavior concerning police and his self appointed neighborhood watch post, who failed to listen to police instruction and then winded up shooting the victim. ON the other hand, we have a play by play from a friend of the victim of what was going on from the victims standpoint in the moments leading up to his death.

    Whether the man should be convicted of murder based on these accounts is a very open question. However, there is enough here to support at a minimum criminal harassment as well as at least a manslaughter charge. I bet you could even substantiate a second degree murder charge because the killing of an individual that resulted from an an already illegal action, in this case a chain of events from criminal harassment –> and unprovoked assault –> the assaulted individual being killed, means that you can be charged with murder. This is why a bank robber would be charged for murder if he accidentally ran someone down in the getaway. any attempt to use the lax gun laws of florida to invoke self defense based on standing their ground would be laughed off as ludicrous (althoug juries can be stupid), because at no time was he in a defensive position. You cannot invoke self defense when you start a fight with someone else and then shoot them.

    The real outrage here is the way the local PD has acted after this death. There is enough information here to call zimmerman a suspect, and there is enough evidence to charge him with a crime. Perhaps he may not be convicted in the end, but thats for a jury to decide. The police department her from the top down (and I’m aware the chief has resigned) should come under a serious investigation from either the state or federal justice departments for their malfeasance.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Thank you, james aka and bike. It’s crazy how some people can convince themselves that race may not have played a part in this, or that more time is needed to gather more facts to detain this man. People have caught life sentences based off of far less evidence and with nothing more than an educated guess as a possible motive.

  • T. Brown

    There are some very ignorant people in this society. A young man was murdered in cold blood and racists try and justify it. There is nothing wrong with Lebron James taking a stance on this. I commend him for it. I’m also glad to see the NBPA make a statement. People with a voice need to stand up and be heard especially in the face of a tragedy. The ignorant people who have used this comment section to spew racist venom are a shame to the HUMAN race.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    James aka and Ashley are the smartest people in the room today. As for the bulk of these comments I am not even going to dignify them with a response.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    And yes, kudos to the Players Assoc for this press release as well.

  • abaci

    R.I.P. Trayvon Martin. Some of you should be ashamed by the ignorant hate filled rhetoric you are spewing. Wake up people.

  • shutup

    @robb so we should all act like guns dont exist, that violence isnt an everyday occurrence? My point about the car is that more people die at the hands of a car then they do at the hands of a gun, should the government restrict our rights to use them? So its not ok to stereotype someone on race but to say all gun users are criminals and are going to kill someone is ok? Do you know what happens when a government bans guns? Only criminals will have guns. You think the gun was the issue in this case? your sadly mistaken. Whats next your gonna ban knives and fire? Then rope and bats? Then at birth we should cut off our hands. Now if you want to argue guns should have never been invented….good luck with that.

  • MikeC.

    @shutup – gun control is almost impossible to enforce. Like you mentioned, criminals don’t usually use a legally registered gun. We tried using major gun restrictions in Canada and it just brought more illegal guns into the country.

  • MeRcMoBb26

    I come to this site on a daily basis, but never comment. I usually just get a kick out of the comments being made, and also to gain some good bball info from the articles and well informed commentors. That being said, situations like this bring out the worst in some people. As a black man, and full time father of three sons (one of them being a teen) of course I’m outraged by the events that happened in Sanford. However, you don’t fight ignorance with ignorance. Regardless of young Trayvon’s race, this was someone’s child taken away far too soon. I’m appalled at how the “law” is handling this, but thinking that the judicial system in America is not biased is just as ignorant as some of these comments. Thank you James aka and Ashley for making well thought out comments, and kudos to the Heat/player’s association. I’m glad that they are using this platform to say something. More often than not, the player’s in the late 80s/90s never stood up for anything, and would’ve been in hush mode. Most of these guys are fathers, people, they can speak about more things than what’s said in a post game interview. R.I.P. Trayvon. Rest in paradise.

  • shutup

    @Mike my point exactly, people don’t realize that regulations only regulate those willing to be regulated. People that want to live outside of the rules of society are going to do it regardless.

  • http://www.tampax.com Crusher

    Yeah, race is a huge factor because Mexican on Black crime is a huge problem in America right now.

  • http://www.tampax.com Bizness

    Am I the only one who has considered that the kid was attacking Zimmerman? Zimmerman was cut badly and bruised front and back of his head and can be heard clearly screaming for help in the 911 call. Regardless of how tragic and wrong the situation is, its not like Zimmerman was out hunting for black kids with his glock for sport. He had been patrolling for years without incident. It doesn’t matter if he was provoking the kid or not. If the kid took a swing first, then Zimmerman shot in self-defense. It doesn’t make him right, but it does make him just a flawed guy who shot in self-defense, not the racis t boogeyman he’s being made out to be. Check the facts yourself. As usual, the media jumps and you say ‘how high?’

  • http://www.oprah.com Obamabot

    Ridiculous to see how Zimmerman has been tried and convicted. I teach constitutional law, just like Obama did, and I can tell you that he broke a few laws with his speech today and that he knew exactly what he was doing. He defended Trayvon but didn’t speak for Zimmerman, yet both guys are equal in the eyes of the law as of today. When the President of the United States deliberately prejudices every jury in the country with emotion-based language it means he has something to gain.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    moderator anybody???

  • Golakeshow

    WTF James aka

  • James aka…

    And cars require licenses. Whats you’re point?

  • James aka…

    Mike C. for the loss. The registry wasn’t killed because it “brought more guns in to Canada”, which there is less than 0 evidence to support, it was killed because gun owners complained about the registry, and the cost was seen as exorbitant.

  • MikeC.

    @James – I wasn’t talking about reasons why the legislation failed as a whole, just one of the unfortunate results. Public support was minimal because of the enormous cost and the typical bureaucratic bumbling. As far as it bringing more guns into Canada, I don’t have first hand knowledge of that, just what I’ve seen and read in the news media.

  • shutup

    Cars require licenses, has any ever thought of banning them to prevent deaths? Guns require licenses too. That’s my point; and its a fact that the crime rate increased in Canada after the ban was implemented, homicides increased significantly. Violent crimes rose across the board which include car jackings, home invasions, r@pe, assaults and stabbings. The same can be said after England implemented the same kind of ban on firearms. Again i’m not against registration of guns, but I am completely against banning them.

  • shutup

    Cars require licenses, has any ever thought of banning them to prevent deaths? Guns require licenses too. That’s my point; and its a fact that the crime rate increased in Canada after the ban was implemented, homicides increased significantly. Violent crimes rose across the board which include car jackings, home invasions, r @ p e, assaults and stabbings. The same can be said after England implemented the same kind of ban on firearms. Again i’m not against registration of guns, but I am completely against banning them.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Alot of racism to fight against racism here people…Trayvon’s death is a huge huge tragedy, nobody is debating that. Most aren’t justifying Zimmerman’s actions (some morons are), but when one side of the story is presented, people are automatically jumping to the oposite extreme in defense of thier position. Zimmerman isn’t a great dude, and he made terrible decisions that night. Based on his history and his phone call to the police, he has a problem with black people. That’s sad. He shouldn’t have been stalking Trayvon in the first place. He should have been arested that night based on the fact that he shot someone (regardless of motive). Since when is it good police work to just believe the person who shot someone instead of aresting him and investigating further? All that being said though, MOST people who are saying anything about this story only know what the mainstream media is saying about it. They don’t know all the facts and they’re jumping to some big conclusions. The mainstream media is doing thier thing and sensationalizing the hell out of it because it’ll boost thier ratings, when the fact is that unnarmed people die at the hands of criminals on a daily basis. Women and children are beaten and killed on a daily basis. People get away with agregious crimes on a daily basis.

  • James Aka…

    There is no gun ban in canada shutup, you’re just making up (or more likely copying made up) information about gun laws in canada. The crime rate has not gone up in canada over any point in the last 20 years, so again, you’re making things up. The only thing that has changed in 20 years is the proportion of homicides with guns versus stabbings and beatings leading to death. Our gun registry, which forced you to register your long guns, was brought in after a massacre at a quebec university 20 years ago, and it was scrapped this year. The registry was popular amongst police forces, as it allowed them to trace stolen weapons and solve crimes, and decried by low information voters like yourself.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/business/media/for-martins-case-a-long-route-to-national-attention.html?_r=2&hp Allenp

    Wayno, click my name for a story about how this story grew into the media event it is today.
    This didn’t happen overnight. This family attempted to get justice for weeks with very little outside attention, and then other people got involved when those in power refused to do what was right. And they are still refusing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ Allen – Yeah, that makes more sense. Sad that it took so long to reach national attention with all of that in mind. I work in law enforcement currently and it’s crazy how horribly the police handled this whole thing. Makes me wonder what they have to gain from thier inaction. How can you have a dead guy, a shooter, and no arrests in a situation like this? Simply shocking. If media pressure and public outcry is what it takes for police to arrest this dude then I’m cool with that. Still, the media is so full of half truths and flat out lies I have a hard time believing any of it without doing my own research. In reading peoples comments, it’s clear that people assign alot of wieght to any piece of press that comes thier way, and that just drives me nuts.

  • chekpnt

    **Criticizing and stereotyping one’s political group is equally as bad as criticizing and stereotyping one’s race.