Prince William and Duchess Kate at NBA game, set to visit 9/11 memorial
NEW YORK — The royal tour of the U.S. continues, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set to visit the 9/11 memorial on Tuesday.
The royals may have known less about America’s «King James» — Lebron James, whom they met Monday night at a Nets game — than they did about Jesse James or P.D. James, but they know about him now.
And while William and Kate probably had hoped to steer clear of contentious domestic issues during their first official visit to the U.S., they appeared with James on the same evening the basketball superstar came onto the court wearing a shirt with «I can’t breathe» written on it.
He wasn’t wearing the shirt — a show of solidarity with anti-police violence protesters nationwide and a reference to the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York — when he stood with his arm around Kate.
But demonstrators were outside the arena to protest the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in Garner’s death.
The plan may have been to associate the cool royals with popular figures like Beyoncé and Jay Z, who were also at the game and exchanged pleasantries with William and Kate.
But pro sports in the U.S. have become embroiled in the the racial argument now and, by coming to this game, the royals have stepped into it, too.
William and Kate are here to promote their country and their causes — protection for disadvantaged children for the duchess and protection for disadvantaged animals for the duke.
While visits like this can be planned, the events within them remain largely unpredictable; this is America, and things are complicated.
In the end, their rarefied status may help the duke and duchess avoid becoming too entangled in American controversy.
«They don’t obviously have a role in sort of any of our policies, there’s no sort of political involvement or anything like that,» said Vanity Fair’s Josh Duboff. «So I think they sort of exist almost as celebrity figures to us.»