Obama Encourages Athletes to Be Activists

I think LeBron did the right thing… We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness. We went through a long stretch there where [with] well-paid athletes the notion was: just be quiet and get your endorsements and don’t make waves… LeBron is an example of a young man who has, in his own way and in a respectful way, tried to say, ‘I’m part of this society, too.’ I’d like to see more athletes do that. Not just around this issue, but around a range of issues.

— President Obama didn’t hesitate in an interview with People to endorse LeBron James’s decision to wear an ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirt.

Rand Paul Calls for Demilitarization of Police

When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury — national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, preconviction forfeiture — we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands. … Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.

— Sen. Rand Paul, in a column in Time magazine.

Reporters Working Under Threats in Ferguson, Mo.

I had never witnessed police treat journalists like this in the four years I worked as a crime reporter in South Florida. Some officers have tried to keep me away from crime scenes, but never stopped me from covering a story altogether … It was also the first time I had ever felt afraid of a police officer.

— Alexis Campbell of the National Journal.