Although the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 100-93 yesterday evening, the team managed to still make headlines with their statement-making hats.
Before Tuesday’s tip-off at the NBA playoffs inside the Disney Bubble in Florida, LeBron James and the Lakers team wore red baseball caps to call for justice for Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Louisville EMT worker who was shot to death in her apartment in March by police officers. Members wore “off-duty” outfits paired with a red hat, an accessory that has become closely associated with President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign (MAGA). Instead of the President’s usual message, however, the Lakers team’s hats read “Make America Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 18, 2020
Last month, James vowed to use his platform to raise social justice awareness throughout the season. For the Nike athlete’s latest statement, he decided to make it through fashion with an all-black outfit, including a T-shirt that read “By Any Means,” a red MAGA-like hat and a pair of Nike Air Force 1s designed by African artist Karabo Poppy.
Several NBA players have been vocal about the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and several other Black lives that were lost to police brutality over social media as well as during interviews with reporters on the Disney Bubble campus. Additionally, when the 2020 NBA season resumed the LA Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, were among the teams that knelt during the National Anthem while sporting Black Lives Matter T-shirts.
The “Make America
Great Again Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor” hats are surely not the last socio-political fashion statement to be made during the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
“It’s just something that we continue to put our foot on the gas, continue to pressure,” James said to reporters while wearing the hat after Tuesday’s game. “The situation that’s going on in Louisville, Kentucky, an innocent woman being killed, by the name of Breonna Taylor, a woman who had a bright future, and her life was taken away from her. There have been no arrests. There’s been no justice, not only for her but for her family. We want to continue to shed light on that situation. It’s just unjust.”