Basketball champion and Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James on Wednesday tweeted a photo of the policeman who shot and killed 15-year-old Makiyah Bryant the day before.
"YOU’RE NEXT," James tweeted, adding the hashtag "#ACCOUNTABILITY".
The tweet was soon deleted from James’s account, but it drew the attention of many who considered it a threat against all police. Netizens slammed the tweet, saying that it was "dangerous" and "reckless" and calling James "not a good person." The backlash came from some GOP lawmakers too, who suggested that James was "inciting violence."
Neither the sportsman or his official representatives have commented on the deleted tweet, or the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lebron is not a good person pic.twitter.com/6hQY1zdEjD— Jessica O’Donnell (@heckyessica) April 21, 2021
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
That LeBron James tweet is so reckless. People with giant platforms and global reach need to be more responsible, and the sponsors who make that influence possible need to be part of the solution.— Christian Vanderbrouk (@UrbanAchievr) April 21, 2021
Boycott Space Jam— Peace Promoter Poso (@JackPosobiec) April 21, 2021
Lebron threatens police
That Lebron tweet is legitimately insane.— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 21, 2021
Remember when Lebron James gate was vandalized with the n-word and he had no security footage of the incident and painted it over before police arrived.— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) April 21, 2021
He’s “upped his game” by threatening the life of a police officer.
One of the most popular and high-scoring players in the game, James is also known for his support of the Black Lives Matter movement and has remained a staunch critic of former US President Donald Trump. The iconic basketball player was earlier mixed up in several disagreements with other sport stars over his active involvement in politics and public activism.
On 20 April, a police officer in Columbus Ohio, shot and killed an African-American teenage girl named Makiyah Bryant. Her age is recorded as either 15, or 16, as her aunt, cited by the Daily Beast, told reporters that the child was 15, while the dead teen's mother told a local TV station that she was 16 years old.
The police were called to the teen's home after receiving a report of an attempted stabbing. Arriving at the scene, police saw Bryant holding a knife and threatening another woman with it. The police shot at Bryant, who later died in the hospital where she was taken in critical condition. The death prompted protests near the Columbus Police Department headquarters.
The same day, a 12-member jury convicted Derek Chauvin of all charges brought against him. The former policeman is expected to be sentenced in eight weeks.