LeBron James on police violence: I am ‘desperate for accountability’
After an initial tweet James deleted, the NBA star returned to Twitter to explain the reason why he took it down.
NBA superstar LeBron James tweeted then deleted a post about the Columbus police officer who shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant. The officer was recently identified as Nicholas Reardon.
The tweet featured a photo of Reardon with a caption that read, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” aside to an hourglass emoji.
James deleted the tweet and posted two more, explaining why he did so.
“ANGER does [none] any of us any good and that includes myself!” he contended. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”
In a second post, James wrote, “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.”
Responses to the tweets have been largely biased against James, with references to “black on black crime.”
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas seized on the initial tweet, writing: “Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer. This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?” He also appeared on The Ingraham Angle on Fox News and told hostess Laura Ingraham that James was inciting violence.
Ingraham once famously said that James should “shut up and dribble” when the athlete-activist spoke out against former President Donald Trump in 2018. James then turned the phrase into a three-part documentary that examined the changing role of Black athletes in cultural and political environments.
The NBA released a statement on Tuesday in response to the conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The league and the National Basketball Players Association wrote in a joint statement: “George Floyd’s murder was a flashpoint for how we look at race and justice in our country, and we are pleased that justice appears to have been served.”
“But we also recognize that there is much work to be done,” they continued, “and the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association, together with our newly-formed Social Justice Coalition, will redouble our efforts to advocate for meaningful change in the areas of criminal justice and policing.”