LeBron James responds after bar refuses to play games until he’s expelled from NBA

The owner does not support athletes using their platforms to address racial injustice

A bar owner in Cincinnati is so outraged over a LeBron James tweet about the cop who killed Ma’Khia Bryant, that he refuses to play NBA games until the Los Angeles Lakers star is “expelled” from the league.

Jay Linneman, owner of Cincinnati’s Linne’s Pub, took to Facebook on April 21 to notify customers that “If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub. We will not air them until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA.”

When James caught wind of the post, he replied on Twitter, “Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp,” he wrote. 

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

Linneman is not down with athletes using their platforms to address racial injustice. He wants James to simply “play the game and that’s it,” he said, according to USA Today.

Linneman’s ban on NBA games is in response to James reacting to the police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old Black girl from Columbus, Ohio whose death was captured on police bodycam and released last week. As theGRIO previously reported, in a now-deleted tweet, James shared a photo of Officer Nicholas Reardon, who fatally shot Bryant, 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. James deleted the tweet and posted two more, explaining why he did so, theGRIO reported.

“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.” 

Former President Donald Trump slammed James over his controversial post. He called the Ohio native’s tweet “racist” and “divisive” and urged the NBA icon to stick to sports. 

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

“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.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James / Getty

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.”

Franklin County Children Services confirmed the teen was a foster child under their care at the time of her death. Angela Moore, Bryant’s foster mother, said the teenager argued with two other females 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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