First asked whether they agreed with NBA star Lebron James’ perspective that the entire police system needed to be reformed, students at the University of Florida agreed, but when they were subsequently enlightened that James had reportedly in the past used “police for private security” and “had an entire police escort block off traffic for him to go to a Jay-Z concert,” they agreed that James had exhibited hypocrisy in his criticism of police.
Campus Reform correspondent Leana Dippie went to the University of Florida, where she stated to some students, “So, recently a lot of celebrities have come out saying the police system need drastic reform. LeBron James has said that, the entire system is problematic and needs reform, Do you agree with his comments?”
Some answers included:
Yeah, I think that’s really true. Honestly, that they need reform, I agree with that.
I definitely think it needs work; I definitely think it needs reform.
Obviously I can’t speak to the struggles of people who aren’t my background and my ethnicity and all that, but I do think there are some things that need to be changed.
Yeah. There is a lot of systematic violence involved with the system, and I believe that the way the system is structured does contribute to that. If they change to more of a crime prevention, rather than using just brute force against crime, I believe that could have a better result in the long-term.
But then Dippie confronted the same students with this: “LeBron James: he uses police for private security; he has also had an entire police escort block off traffic for him to go to a Jay-Z concert. He has hired private security for his home. Do you think it’s hypocritical that LeBron is so publicly critical of the police when he’s using them for his own personal protection?”
The answers she got included one female student answering, “I guess so, but I don’t really think that much, cause I think he was referring to general public, and like, public police forces, I see the point, but I think he’s using that for his own security and he knows that he trusts them, rather than referring to the public police force, who’s done bad things for bad reasons.” When Dippie prompted, “Well, the picture that I showed you was public police he was using,” The student replied, “Yeah, I can see how it can be hypocritical, in some sense.”
100%, but not entirely surprising given that so many celebrities do so many similar things.
I think, in some sense the extent that he went to could be hypocritical.
Partially, yes. I mean, if you have the money to do that and to hire people privately I would say it’s like borderline hypocritical. It’s a little bit, obviously.
One female student argued, “Him being hypocritical doesn’t take away from the fact that there still needs to be reform and that there are existing issues with the police that need to be addressed.”
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