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Luke Walton, LeBron James explain importance of wearing ‘Enough’ shirts in honor of Thousand Oaks shooting victims

The Lakers used their platform to remember the victims of the tragic Thousand Oaks shooting, and to raise awareness on the gun problem they see in the United States.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In honor of the 12 people that lost their lives in the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers wore shirts with the words “ENOUGH” across their chest on Sunday at Staples Center. The back of the shirts had the names of the 12 victims.

Following the game on Sunday, head coach Luke Walton explained why he felt it was important for his team, and the opposing Atlanta Hawks, to wear the shirts in response to the senseless shooting that took place over the weekend.

“It’s powerful when it comes from people that a lot people around the world look up to,” Walton said. “It’s bringing social awareness to something that, I think when you have kids and you’re concerned about where our world is going sometimes, it’s nice to see people stand up and try to bring awareness to things and not just let it slide into yesterday’s news.”

The Lakers and the Hawks weren’t the only teams to do it this weekend. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Clippers wore the same shirts on Saturday during the Clippers’ home game.

LeBron James shared how grateful he is to play in a league where players have the freedom to speak out against what they view as social injustices.

“I think it’s about recognizing about what’s going on in society and for us to be so close to this situation, not being too far away (from Thousand Oaks),” James said. “First of all, my prayers and condolences to all of the families that lost loved ones in such an act that none of us ever want to be a part of, obviously, but never even want to hear about no matter how close or far you are.

“For us to have a commissioner like we have to even allow us to do something like this, number one, that’s amazing. That’s why we all love Adam. And then for us to recognize both teams, I seen the Clippers do it as well in their last home game, just recognizing a very troubling time,” James continued. “And that we, I won’t say understand, but that we’re here for the families in health and in support.”

As a father of three children, James was just as heartbroken as anyone when he heard about the news.

“Probably the same (thing) that went through everybody’s mind,” James said of his reaction the shooting. “‘Not again.’ ‘Oh wow.’ ‘What the hell?’ Probably some more explicit terms that I won’t say right here. Just how do we clean up this ... I think it all comes back to this gun situation we have in America, gun violence. I definitely don’t want to go into that right now but I can do it at a later point.

“These people are just being able to just go and buy guns and do things with them and innocent lives are being taken at a young age, young ages. When I was younger, we didn’t really have to worry about gun violence too much. If you had a problem with somebody you kind of fist it out and move on. Now it’s like people are shooting it out and don’t even have a problem with somebody, they just have a problem with themselves or a problem with a situation that they’re in,” James continued. “It’s just very troubling times for everyone and for parents.

“How can you feel comfortable sending your kids to school, or church, or to the movies or to the mall? Those were kind of like the great havens when I was growing up ... it’s kind of scary at this point in time.”

In an ideal world there wouldn’t be shootings like this, and James and the Lakers wouldn’t have to speak up. Because that’s not the world we live in, we should be grateful they aren’t staying silent about it.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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