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LeBron James on Tamir Rice decision: 'The issue is bigger than me'

After Tuesday's game against the Nuggets, LeBron James spoke on the decision to not prosecute the police officers responsible for the death of Tamir Rice.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After Tuesday's game against the Nuggets, LeBron James spoke for the first time since it was announced that charges would not be filed against the officers responsible for the November 2014 shooting death of Cleveland teenager Tamir Rice.

James said he was slow to respond to the news because he was not fully aware of the issue and cited his lack of social media use as a reason why.

"For me, I've always been a guy who's took pride in knowledge of every situation that I've ever spoke on," James said via ESPN. "And to be honest, I haven't really been on top of this issue. So it's hard for me to comment. I understand that any lives that [are] lost, what we want more than anything is prayer and the best for the family, for anyone. But for me to comment on the situation, I don't have enough knowledge about it."

James was then asked about what someone in his position could do to help. He responded with the following via ESPN:

"First of all, I think I've been very outspoken about what I believe in," James said. "What hits home for me, what I am [knowledgeable] about. There's been so many more issues that's gone on that I haven't spoken about.

"There's been the San Bernardino massacre, there's been guys going in movie theaters, shooting up movie theaters, there's been other issues. Those are not something that ... I don't have much knowledge of so I don't speak about it. So for me ... if I feel like it's something that I have a lot of knowledge about [I'll add my voice to the issue], because I don't like to speak when I don't know about it.

"But I think the most important thing that we all need to understand, the most important thing, this issue is bigger than LeBron. This issue is bigger than me; it's about everyone. And gun violence and tragedies and kids losing lives at a young age, some way, somehow we need to understand that that matters more than just an individual."

LeBron has a history of speaking out on social issues. Last season, he was one of dozens of NBA players who wore 'I Can't Breath' shirts after Eric Garner was killed in a dispute with New York City Police. In 2012, when James was a member of the Miami Heat, James joined teammates Dwayne Wade the rest of the Heat roster in wearing hooded sweatshirts in support of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. James posted a picture of the Heat with the hashtag #wearetrayvonmartin to social media.

Earlier this year, James tweeted his condolences to the family of Aavvielle Wakefield, a five-month old who was killed in Cleveland in a drive by shooting. Later, James said that there was 'no room' for gun violence.

Prior to speaking out yesterday, activists on Twitter called on James to sit out games in protest with the hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron. The hashtag, started by writer and activist Tariq Toure, gained some traction online yesterday.