Trump slams LeBron James for ‘racist rants’ on police brutality

"He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”

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Former President Donald Trump has slammed LeBron James over his controversial “You’re Next” post about the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant

Trump called the LA Laker star’s tweet “racist” and “divisive” and urged the NBA icon to stick to sports. 

“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 reported by The Hill. “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!” he continued.

Read More: LeBron James on police violence: I am ‘desperate for accountability’

Trump’s comments are in response to a now-deleted tweet in which James shared a photo of Officer Nicholas Reardon, who fatally shot Bryant on Tuesday, along with the caption: “you’re next #accountability.”  

Bryant was killed shortly before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. As theGRIO previously reported, 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.” 

Reactions to James’ tweets have been largely biased against him, 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. 

Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Ohio) co-signed Cotton’s remarks, writing on Twitter that “People like LeBron James and his friends on the left are driving good people away from careers in law enforcement.”

Read More: Capitol officer reportedly told units to monitor ‘anti-Trump’ protesters only

The footage of Bryant’s shooting death was quickly released by the Columbus Police Department, with Interim Police Chief Michael Woods saying, “we understand the public’s need, desire and expectation to have transparency.”

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The teen’s mother, Paula Bryant, said her daughter was a “very loving, peaceful little girl” who was an honor roll student.

“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her,” Paula Bryant asserted, theGRIO reported. “She promoted peace, and that’s something I always want to be remembered.”

Franklin County Children Services confirmed the teen was a foster child under their care at the time of her death. Angela Moore, Ma’Khia Bryant’s foster mother, said the teenager argued with two other girls about an unmade bed and a messy house shortly before she was fatally shot by police.

“It was over keeping the house clean. The older one told them to clean up the house because ‘Mom doesn’t like the house dirty,’” Moore told CNN, adding: “So that’s how it all started.”

*theGRIO’s Biba Adams contributed to this report. 

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