LeBron James Expresses Regret Over Ma’Khia Bryant Tweet: I Fueled The Wrong Conversation
Update #2 (May 6th): LeBron James is reflecting on his controversial tweet addressing the killing of teenager Ma’Khia Bryant.
He referenced a previous post that received lots of criticism (below) and explained why he believes it sparked the “wrong conversation” about the 16-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer.
He tweeted earlier this week,
“I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it.”
He also thanked Vox writer Fabiola Cineas for “educating” fans about her and explaining why her story should be the focus.
Original Story (April 22nd): In the wake of what should’ve been a victory for the murder of George Floyd, was the tragedy of the untimely death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. The teen was killed after calling cops for help against a group of girls threatening violence while on her property.
Given the teen lived in Columbus, Ohio, it didn’t take long for Akron, Ohio native and current Lakers star, LeBron James, to take center stage in a now-deleted tweet. Akron is 125 miles northeast of Columbus, the state capital.
On Wednesday (April 21), James showed a photo of the now-identified officer, Nicholas Reardon, who fatally shot Bryant. The picture of Reardon, who is white, was accompanied with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” followed up with an hourglass emoji.
The body camera footage was released by the Columbus Division of Police identifying Reardon. The officers were seen exiting his vehicle at a house where police had been dispatched post the 911 call made.
As the officer walks toward a group of people on the driveway, Bryant can be seen swinging a knife at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down. Bryant then charges at another girl or woman, who is pinned against a car.
From a few feet away, with people on either side of him, the officer fires four shots, hitting Bryant. She quickly collapses as the knife lies next to her.
Byrant was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
All of this comes on the heels of the Derek Chauvin trial to which the former officer was found guilty of Floyd’s murder. James responded to the Chauvin verdict with a single word:
James later explained why he deleted his tweet.
James did receive support from other Twitter users, such as former ESPN analyst Chris Palmer, while some didn’t share his logic on the racial matter.
James is no stranger to expressing his thoughts on social media. He spoke out against “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin when it was announced that she could choose a prison to serve out her two-month sentence following a college admissions scandal for her daughters. At the time, he stated:
“We just want the same treatment if committed of the same crime that’s all.”
He was also critiqued by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a Swedish football player, who believed the basketball giant should “stay out of politics.” Ibrahimovic praised James’ advocacy but felt indifferent towards his First Amendment rights, saying:
“ He is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time. Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do. I play football because I’m the best at playing football.”
What are your thoughts on LeBron James’ deleted tweet and explanation? Comment and let us know.