Former President Donald Trump scolded NBA star LeBron James over a tweet James posted telling the police officer involved in a Columbus, Ohio, shooting, “YOU’RE NEXT.”
James later deleted the tweet aimed at Officer Nicholas Reardon, who on Tuesday shot Ma’Khai Bryant as the 16-year-old was attacking another girl with a knife.
The Los Angeles Laker posted his tweet long after officials had released bodycam footage that showed Bryant was in the act of swinging the knife at a girl when she was shot.
“LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League,” Trump said in a statement Thursday.
“His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning. He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!” the former president said.
James later explained that he deleted his tweet because it was “being used to create more hate.”
“This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism,” he said, adding he was “so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.”
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
“I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY,” he wrote.
Many rebuked James for his actions.
If you’re shocked Lebron James has zero regard for the life of a police officer who shot a perp attacking a girl with a knife… you haven’t been paying attention.
Lebron also refuses to condemn China for ACTUAL GENOCIDE against the Uighur people.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 21, 2021
.@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless.
The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact. pic.twitter.com/GTHn1VAAlf
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) April 21, 2021
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
LeBron James is a race-baiting buffoon. He just used a lie to endanger a police officer, a hero who saved a woman’s life.
He is a coward and so are all of his defenders. https://t.co/dOjm1eKAAG
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) April 21, 2021
James also was taken to task by Miranda Devine in the New York Post.
“Police bodycam video showed a raging Bryant lunging at a smaller girl with a knife at the moment she was shot. Her death is tragic, just as it seems was her short life, spent in and out of foster care,” she wrote.
“But someone was going to die or be seriously injured that day, and quick action by police made sure it was the person wielding the weapon, not her imminent victim,” Divine said. “The officers would have failed in their duty if they had allowed Bryant to continue her attack and, of course, they would have been branded racist for not saving a black girl.
“Police can’t win in this environment, so they will end up vacating the field altogether, which is the aim of the revolutionaries.”
She then turned to the NBA star.
“LeBron James, the billionaire, China-boosting, race-baiting basketballer, also couldn’t wait to demonstrate his fealty to the downtrodden,” Divine wrote. “He tweeted a photograph to his 50 million followers of the white Columbus police officer alleged to have shot Bryant, with the menacing words: ‘YOU’RE NEXT.’ He deleted the tweet but only after it received 40,000 likes.
“Don’t expect him to be censured by the NBA for his rancid lie, either.”
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