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‘Looked Like Self-Defense’: Former NBA Number One Overall Pick On Rittenhouse Verdict
Basketball: Aerial view of Charlotte Bobcats Kwame Brown (54) in action vs Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.Los Angeles, CA 1/29/2011CREDIT: John W. McDonough (Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)(Set Number: X85346 TK1 R11 F7 )
John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

On Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of murder after fatally shooting two men and injuring another in last year’s Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots. 

Many within the sports world reacted, including James Cadogan, the executive director of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition. 

“Our thoughts are with the families of those whose lives were taken in this tragedy,” Cadogen said in a statement. “The right to peacefully protest is a bedrock of our democracy and the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition remains committed to preserving that right for all. Any forms of vigilantism in our society are unacceptable.”

A few NBA players also expressed their opinions, including former 14-year NBA veteran and current Miami Heat assistant coach, Caron Butler. 

“Today’s verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse reflects the extraordinary racial bias that plagues the U.S. criminal legal system,” Butler wrote on Twitter. “It also serves as a rare glimpse into how white privilege impacts prosecution, conviction and punishment – a reality rarely exposed publicly.”

While there are many that share Butler’s view of the case, one former NBA player sees it differently. 

Kwame Brown — the number one overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft — defended the Rittenhouse verdict. 

“Our focus should be on Ahmaud Arbery, it shouldn’t be on Kyle Rittenhouse. That to me, in my opinion, looked like self-defense,” Brown said. “The courts found it as self-defense. The only bad thing is that he had to sit in jail for so long because they made something political that shouldn’t have been political.” 

Brown went on to name Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Roland Martin, questioning why the Rittenhouse trial was used for “political gain.” 

“We want to tie it into something black, we want to tie it into something bigger, so we can have people come out and march and get checks off a little teenagers back,” he said. 

“A bunch of people are getting paid to push this racist s***. That’s all it is … The only thing they get paid off of is talking about how racist it is,” Brown continued. “Them m*****f****** got good cars, good houses, good everything, telling you how bad it is … I saw, g***d***, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, I saw, g**d***,  Roland Martin … [They] riding in style.”


Brown was selected first overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2001 NBA Draft, but never was able to live up to expectations. He spent four seasons with the Wizards organization and averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. 

Brown was traded to the L.A. Lakers in 2005, and bounced around the league until his final season with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012. 

Brown wound up playing 12 years in the NBA, and averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in his career.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

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