Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush made several social media posts earlier this week comparing the racial injustice in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer, to the killing of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Bush posted the following image to his Instagram account with the caption, “No matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn’t a Ferguson problem it’s a Global Problem! We need change NOW! What happened to humanity? #JusticeForMikeBrown.”
The comparison of the perceived racial injustice of the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown to the conflict between Israel and Gaza raised a few eyebrows but also prompted many to speak out in support of Bush, with his post getting more than 14,000 likes from his Instagram followers. Israel has killed more than 1,834 Palestinians, most of them civilians, since July 8. In contrast, Israel has only lost 64 soldiers and three civilians during the same time period. In the United States, a Black person is killed by police every 28 hours.
Bush expounded on his initial post by posting another picture with the caption, “This issue is a GLOBAL issue (I believe I said that already in one of my posts as well) as you can see.”
Bush went on to say, “People all over the world have been affected by the unfortunate events that have taken place in Ferguson! I chose to take a stance on this issue because I’d rather have an opinion than to sit back and be quiet and say nothing at all! I wasn’t expecting everyone to agree with me and I wasn’t expecting everyone to like my posts! A unarmed young man lost his life period! And that’s unfortunate! I don’t know much about shooting people or getting shot but I do know if you shoot someone once in each leg (not 6-10 times) maybe even 3 times, chances are they will slow down! So my heart goes out to the family members of Mike Brown and anyone else that has gone through similar or worse tragedy!”
Bush was not the only sports celebrity to speak out about the grand jury decision. Lebron James tweeted, “As a society how do we do better and stop things like this happening time after time.” Magic Johnson expressed his disappointment with the grand jury decision tweeting, “We must work together to stop the unnecessary loss of young men of color. Justice was not served in Ferguson.” Serena Williams also took to Twitter, stating, “Wow. Just wow. Shameful. What will it take???.”
Other celebrities spoke out, with Pharrell Williams stating that he was heartbroken over the no indictment and Nick Cannon tweeting, “No need for the gas, we already had tears.” Will.i.am said he felt sick to his stomach and felt angry, confused and betrayed, stating, “America is lost.”