A high-ankle sprain has kept LeBron James off the basketball court for 16 NBA games since mid-March. However, it hasn’t slowed down his activism, which resulted in the Los Angeles Lakers star sticking his proverbial foot – the healthy one, presumably – in “it” on Wednesday.
James seemingly leaped to a conclusion about a police shooting and shared it on social media, only to take it down shortly afterward – with a questionable explanation. It was his second contribution to the “ready, fire, aim” school of commentary in less than 24 hours.
LeBron James got it wrong after the Derek Chauvin verdict
Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis was criticized after he reacted to the guilty verdict in the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021. Davis made the decision for the Raiders to post a graphic on social media saying, simply, “I Can Breathe.”
The statement was a nod to George Floyd, who repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe” as he was being subdued on May 25, 2020, by Chauvin, who had a knee pressed into Floyd’s neck. A jury convicted Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
LeBron James reacted harshly to the Raiders’ Twitter post. He re-tweeted the Raiders’ message, adding, “This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!!”
The problem? Well, for starters, George Floyd’s brother gave the Raiders a huge thumbs-up and thanked Davis for the captivating take on the day’s major news out of Minneapolis, the Star-Tribune reported.
“On behalf of our family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Las Vegas Raiders organization and its leadership for their support of our family and for our nation’s ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all,” Philonise Floyd said. “Now, more than ever, we must come together as one and continue on in this fight. For the first time in almost a year, our family has taken a breath. … Let’s take this breath together in honor of my big brother who couldn’t. “
Davis subsequently explained that he made the decision to tweet after hearing an interview in which Philonise Floyd reacted to the verdict by saying, “We can all breathe again.”
Another incident attracts national attention
The country was still focused on Derek Chauvin on Tuesday when a headline about a police-involved shooting of a Black teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio, flashed across television screens. Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was shot and killed by a white police officer moments after he arrived on the scene following two 911 calls about an attempted stabbing.
A police officer identified as Nicholas Reardon arrived, and video from his body camera helps determine what subsequently transpired. The video shows Bryant wielding a knife and moving toward another teen, who fell to the ground in front of Reardon. Bryant then turned toward another young woman standing next to a parked car. Bryant began swinging the arm holding the knife at the young woman as Reardon is shouting, “Get down.”
Reardon fired four times, according to the Columbus Dispatch, and Bryant fell to the ground. Other officers arrived and provided medical aid until paramedics arrived.
Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said Wednesday that an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will determine if Reardon acted appropriately.
Experts interviewed by the newspaper said the officer was legally justified in using deadly force based upon department standards regarding an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death being imposed against an officer or someone else.
LeBron James created a mess for himself with another tweet
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has come under fire for a posting he made on Twitter in the aftermath of the shooting of a Black teen by a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio.
“YOU’RE NEXT,” he tweeted alongside a photo of the Columbus police officer. The New York Post reported that 40,000 of James’ 50 million Twitter followers gave the tweet a like before James deleted it. In a subsequent post, James confirmed he’d removed the original tweet but wouldn’t concede wrongdoing:
“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.”
Clay Travis, founder of the Outkick.com sports website, called James out.
“Why aren’t you so damn tired of seeing black people killed by black people? That’s 93% of all black murders. You tried to dox an officer who saved an innocent black woman. Because he’s white. Pathetic. And embarrassing for you. Open invite on @outkick to talk real facts & data.”