Lebron James has backtracked a bit after receiving intense backlash over a tweet he had regarding the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting. On April 21st, Lebron tweeted a photo of the officer involved in the shooting captioned, “YOU’RE NEXT” with an hourglass emoji.
Of course body-cam footage revealed that Bryant was armed with a knife and was seconds away from stabbing another girl, likely fatally.
After fierce backlash — including calls for James to be investigated by the Los Angeles police — Lebron has somewhat backtracked. “I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia,” he said in a tweet. He went on to ironically tweet “protect our young black women and men”, which is exactly what the officer did in this instance.
Lebron didn’t apologize to the officer he incited a mob against, however. No discipline, or even acknowledgement was issued by the league either, which is hardly surprising.
The NBA has demonstrated a pattern in jumping the gun on this issue, to say the least. Last June, teams opted to cancel their own games in protest of the Jacob Blake police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot multiple times after attempting to enter a car while armed with a knife. He survived the shooting but will be paralyzed for the rest of his life.
It was quickly revealed that Blake was attempting to kidnap a child in the back seat of the vehicle before being shot. This was part of the justification for use of deadly force, which the officer who fired testified to.
Laquisha Booker — the mother of the child Blake attempted to kidnap — had repeatedly made domestic calls to the police regarding Blake. “He has my keys, it’s my car, it’s registered to me,” Booker said to officer Rusten Sheskey seconds before the shooting occurred. In addition to that, Sheskey communicated through his attorney that he heard Blake say, “I’m taking the car, I’m taking the kid.”
Blake also had warrants out for third degree sexual assault (GRAPHIC) and domestic violence related charges. The warrants stemmed from a May incident in which Blake allegedly broke into the home of a woman he knew and sexually assaulted her. He was also in violation of a restraining order for being at the home where the shooting took place.
It was for this pillar of the community that the Milwaukee Bucks and other teams across professional sports walked out of their games.
Lebron James and the NBA as a whole have demonstrated a pattern of irresponsible conduct in regards to these issues. Their stance seems to be that if a black person is shot by the police, it is murder no matter what. Even if the suspect is wanted for sexual assault and attempting a kidnapping, or in the process of stabbing somebody, they can count on support from the NBA.