WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- JR Smith, former Cleveland Cavaliers guard, was captured on video beating up an alleged car vandal.
- Smith said the man had broken his car’s window during the George Floyd protests in Los Angeles on Sunday.
- Smith argued against looting and vandalism during the protests, saying it’s “not helping the situation.”
The video was published on Sunday by TMZ Sports.
In the video, Smith can be seen beating up the alleged car vandal, who ends up on the ground. Smith kept kicking him and then punched him when he got up.
The vandal eventually ran away when Smith was stopped by some onlookers.
Smith said that his vehicle was parked in a residential area, away from any stores, to prevent being looted. But the man broke his car’s window. “I chased him down and whupped his ass,” Smith stated.
Smith clarified that even though the alleged car vandal was white, race had nothing to do with his retaliation.
He explained, “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.”
Smith denounced the looting and vandalism that have been part of some of the L.A. protests when he appeared on the “Pat McAfee Show” on Monday.
Smith argued that looting and vandalism are “not what it’s about and not what it’s for,” and is “not gonna give us a good light after this, going forward. It’s not, in my eyes, not helping the situation.”
“You want to peacefully protest — a hundred percent, we can do that all day,” he continued.
He implored protesters to think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it before “vandalizing people’s personal property that has nothing to do with nothing.”
Smith then shared how he’s “the only black guy” on his residential block. He pointed out, “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.”
Smith acknowledged that the person who damaged his car might not have done so if there was a witness nearby. He added, “It was just a random act of stupidness and I give him that… but that ass-whupping was a random act of stupidness on my behalf as well.”
The 34-year-old player has been a 15-year NBA veteran. Last season, he played in 11 games for the Cavaliers. He was not part of a roster this season, however.
Multiple U.S. states and cities have staged protests over the death of Floyd, a black man who died last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.