LeBron James praised Atlanta rapper Killer Mike's impassioned speech at mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' press conference Friday following the death of George Floyd.
"MANDATORY LISTEN!!!! @KillerMike always on point!" James wrote Saturday. "So passionate and smart(knowledgeable) as hell!! Man I love you G! Salute."
Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, was violently held down with a knee by white police officer Derek Chauvin for eight minutes in Minneapolis on Monday despite saying multiple times that he couldn't breathe. He died later at a nearby hospital.
Protests have since broken out in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Portland, Oakland, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, as well as some other cities around the country.
“I’m mad as hell," Killer Mike said. "I woke up wanting to see the world burn yesterday, because I’m tired of seeing black men die. He casually put his knee on a human being’s neck for nine minutes as he died like a zebra in the clutch of a lion’s jaw. And we watch it like murder porn, over and over again. So that's why children are burning it to the ground. They don't know what else to do. And it is the responsibility of us to make this better."
Killer Mike said Chauvin and the other three police officers involved in the incident need to be prosecuted and sentenced. But he added that he wants to see systemic racism burned to the ground -- not his city.
“I am duty-bound to be here to simply say: That it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy," he said. "It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.
“It is time to beat up prosecutors you don’t like at the voting booth. It is time to hold mayoral offices accountable, chiefs and deputy chiefs. Atlanta is not perfect, but we’re a lot better than we ever were, and we’re a lot better than cities are.”
Killer Mike, whose father in an Atlanta police officer, said he has a lot of love and respect for cops.
He added that everyone has a right to feel deeply angry and hopeless about the senseless killing of Floyd.
“I’m glad [protestors] only took down a sign and defaced a building, and they’re not killing human beings like that policeman did," he said. "I’m glad that they only destroyed some brick and mortar and they didn’t rip a father from a son, they didn’t rip a son from a mother, like the policeman did.”
But he encouraged people to effect change in other ways than vandalizing their city.
"If you sit in your homes tonight instead of burning your home to the ground, you will have time to properly plot, plan, strategize and organize and mobilize in an effective way," he said.