Civil rights activist Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E., is calling for a boycott of all products that NBA All-star Kobe Bryant endorses. This includes his jerseys, and signature gym shoes. The call for the national boycott is in response to Bryant’s negative comments concerning the Miami Heat’s support of the Trayvon Martin family.
In the March 31 issue of the New Yorker. Bryant discussed life and race with Ben McGrath. When McGrath asked Bryant’s opinion on the Miami Heat’s show of solidarity with Martin in the now iconic “hoodie” photo, the LA Lakers star stated:
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” Bryant said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”