Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith is seen in a video published by TMZ Sports on Sunday beating up a man who allegedly damaged his truck during the protests in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd.
Smith is seen kicking the man when he is on the ground and then punching him when he gets up. Then the man runs away. The man broke a window on Smith’s vehicle, Smith said in a video posted online.
Smith said he was parked in a residential area and not near any stores where looting took place during the protests.
“I chased him down and whupped his ass,” Smith said.
Smith said in the video he wanted to make it clear that his retaliation wasn’t because the man was white.
“This ain’t no hate crime. I ain’t got no problem with nobody who ain’t got no problem with me. It’s a problem with the motherf—ing system. That’s it,” he said.
On Monday, Smith denounced the vandalism and looting that have been part of some of the protests in Los Angeles.
“You want to peacefully protest — a hundred percent, we can do that all day. But once you get to vandalizing people’s personal property that has nothing to do with nothing — and a hundred percent, honestly, I’m the only black guy on my block; I’m the only black person on this corner,” he said on the “Pat McAfee Show.”
“So for you to randomly just — thinking you’re doing something for the people, the one black person who was able to get out of the situation and move into a nice neighborhood and do all of those things that we aspire to do, you broke that person’s window without even knowing. So it’s like, people are consistently doing stuff, when you don’t even know what you’re doing it for or why you’re doing it — out of all the people — a hundred percent.”
Smith, 34, a 15-year NBA veteran, played in 11 games for the Cavaliers last season. He has not been on a roster this season.
Los Angeles is one of several cities in the United States where protests have taken place over the death of Floyd, a black man who died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
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