NBA all-star Kobe Bryant is the latest celebrity to weigh in on Kanye West's now-infamous controversial comments on slavery.
On Tuesday, Bryant made a surprise appearance at the WE RISE festival, an event focused on influencing change in the mental health system, where he spoke to 300 high school students and addressed West's recent comments when asked how he feels about the rapper's recent TMZ rant.
“I’m sure the same way everybody else here in this room feels,” the basketball star said. “‘What the hell are you talking about?’ I think that was my reaction as is everybody else’s reaction.”
People then reported that Bryant acknowledged West as “one of these entertainers that’s always in a constant state of growth” and “doing a lot of questioning internally himself," he clarified that he did not agree with the Yeezy designer's statements.
West has earned harsh critiques from fans and celebrity friends after taking to Twitter to share his controversial political views.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all? Like, we’re mentally in prison. Like, slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks,” he said. “So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
After receiving backlash from celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson, the "Famous" rapper returned to Twitter to defend his statements and said, “Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.”
He then continued and compared himself to both Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman.
"If this was 148 years ago I would have been more like Harriet or Nat,” he said in a tweet, adding, “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”