LeBron James says he ‘fueled wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant’ with tweet
The Los Angeles Lakers star says that he understands that his platform can be co-opted if he's not clear in his message
LeBron James held himself accountable for his initial tweet in response to the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by Columbus, Ohio police.
The star athlete shared via Twitter that he has realized he may not have chosen the best words in response to the incident.
“I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it,” he tweeted. In his post, he shared an article from Vox by Fabiola Cineas titled ‘Why they’re not saying Ma’Khia Bryant’s name‘ which unpacks how racism and sexism work against Black girls and women when dealing with police violence.
He continued to thank the writer “for educating us about Ma’Khia and her story and why this needs to be about her.”
In a subsequent tweet, the NBA star shared “Protect our Young Black Women & Men!”
ESPN reported the now-deleted tweet first issued by James showed a photo of officer Nicholas Reardon, the white policeman who has been identified as firing the fatal shots at Bryant, with an accompanying caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” along with an hourglass emoji, on Wednesday.
According to the sports news outlet, in a series of tweets, James explained why he deleted the post.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! 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!” he tweeted.
He continued in a separate post, “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,” he said.
Bryant was fatally shot by Officer Reardon on April 20 and the news spread on social media just as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd.
As theGrio reported, her family and friends honored the teen at a funeral in Ohio on April 30.
The senior pastor, Jamal Harrison Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church kicked off his opening remarks quoting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We are here because injustice is here,” he said.
“We have to be mindful that today she should have been thinking about SATs, should’ve been thinking about going to prom,” he added. “The reality is we can’t sugarcoat the fact we should not be here today.”
This article contains additional reporting by theGrio’s Keydra Manns.
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