Over the weekend, protestors took to the streets from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to London, England. People were infuriated after video of George Floyd's death surfaced in which (now former) Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe and cried out for his mother, but it didn't matter. George Floyd became unresponsive and died at 46 years old. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
There was no shortage of well-known faces who took to the streets in protest. Grammy Award-winning pop singer Ariana Grande marched in Beverly Hills. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate led fellow NFL players in clean up efforts around Tampa, Florida. Even free agent NBA player J.R. Smith joined the George Floyd protests in Los Angeles, but his story is a little more unique.
Video surfaced of the former first-round NBA Draft pick beating a protestor to a pulp before running away. The reason? This person allegedly shattered Smith's truck window.
The video, which was obtained by TMZ Sports, begins with someone asking the cameraman not to film and "respect his privacy." Unfazed by the paparazzi, Smith rained kicks down onto the protestor, who appears to be a white man. Before the alleged vandal runs off, Smith catches him with a right hook right on the temple.
NBA Star J.R. Smith Beats Up Man in L.A. Protests
Moral of the story: never mess with a man's truck.
According to TMZ, Smith's truck was parked in a residential area of Los Angeles and away from the nearby Flight Club sneaker shop, which was being looted. Smith told The Pat McAfee Show that he is the only black person who lives on his street, but he doesn't believe race motivated this random act of vandalism, nor was race a factor in retaliating for breaking his car window.
"Granted, if he would have seen me or seen somebody outside the car or outside the house, do I think he would have broke it? Absolutely not. It was just a random act of stupidness," Smith said. "But that ass-whopping was a random act of stupidness on my behalf, too."
Smith defended the attack in an emotional video posted to social media:
JR Smith responds to the video of his encounter with a looter.
Real one. pic.twitter.com/WXhwnOxn9I
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) May 31, 2020
"One of these little motherf***ing white boys didn't know where he was going and broke my f***ing window in my truck. Broke my shit. This is a residential area. There wasn't no stores over here, none of that shit. Broke my window.
"I chased him down and whooped his ass."
No charges are likely to be filed. I mean, if you broke J.R. Smith's window, then the 2016 NBA champion beat you up on video, you wouldn't come forward with a sob story, either.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers standout was waived in July 2019 after spending almost five seasons with the team, winning a title alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year is a former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets shooting guard. The 34-year-old is currently an unsigned free agent while the NBA season remains postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The death of George Floyd was sullied by loser looters who damaged public property and local businesses with nothing positive in mind. Anyone who used these demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racial injustices as a chance to spread more hate could use a swift J.R. Smith shoe right to their face.
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