“He threw [Shaquille O’Neal] under the bus and he is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country,” said Brown. “[Bryant] doesn’t quite fit what’s happening in America.”
“In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call,” said Brown. “If I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. Kobe would be one of them.”
Brown’s comments were made on an appearance of the Arsenal Hall Show (who knew he still had a show?). Thursday after practice, Kobe responded to Brown’s claims publicly and in diplomatic fashion.
“It surprised me in the sense that it just came out of left field. I’ve never even met him,” Bryant said. “I do think it’s a great opportunity to have these conversations, to have this discussion.”
Bryant also said he doesn’t really see a reason for he and Brown to have a conversation on the topic.
“There’s nothing to talk about. We have different perception, different views on it, clearly,” Bryant said. “What I’m trying to do is educate our youth going forward, no matter what color skin you are, African American, white, whatever the case may be.
“For he and I, there’s no reason for us to have a conversation. We’re completely on the opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog. He’s probably a lot more set in his ways than I am.”
For Jim Brown to question Kobe’s understanding of African American culture was uncalled for. Brown played professional sports in an era that was highly racially charged and his view on the subject reflects that, whereas today the racial climate is a bit different. Maybe it’s Brown’s understanding of today’s culture that needs to be questioned, and not the other way around.
Kobe even tweeted about the ordeal Thursday:
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