Basketball player LeBron James posted and subsequently deleted a tweet on Wednesday about the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, by a police officer. He later tried to explain why he deleted the tweet.
James’ actions on social media prompted backlash from conservatives, who brought up his previous Twitter controversy over tweets defending the Chinese government.
In the since-deleted tweet by the Los Angeles Lakers star was a picture of Columbus Officer Nicholas Reardon along with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” and an hourglass emoji, according to ESPN.
In the body camera footage released by the Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday, Bryant—after numerous warnings from the officer, identified Wednesday as Reardon, to “get down”—could be seen trying to stab another person with a knife before being shot by Reardon.
Bryant was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Police did not say if anybody else was hurt.
The shooting happened on Tuesday, after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
On Wednesday evening, James explained why he deleted his earlier post about Reardon, saying it was “being used to create more hate”.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” wrote James. “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!”
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James continued in a separate post. “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”
Conservatives were quick to bring up the NBA star’s previous controversy regarding his defense of China, who’s authoritarian regime has been putting Uighur Muslims in internment camps, as well as clamping down on democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.
As The Daily Caller brought up, in October 2019, James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Dayl Morey for tweeting support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, igniting a firestorm for the NBA. All of the NBA’s official partner companies in China suspended their relationships with the league and China stopped broadcasting NBA matches. It was not until October 2020 that the country started broadcasting NBA games again.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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VIDEO: Chinese military plane comes ‘dangerously’ close to U.S. aircraft over South China Sea
The United States Army recorded and released unnerving video of a close encounter with a Chinese jet over the South China Sea. The Chinese military plane came “dangerously” close to the U.S. military aircraft in the international airspace last week, the U.S. military announced on Thursday.
US, Chinese jets in close encounter over South China Sea pic.twitter.com/X8fbV84neF
— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) December 29, 2022
The Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), the command responsible for overseeing U.S. operations in the area, said in a statement that the encounter occurred on December 21, during which a Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet flew within 10 feet (3 meters) of a U.S. Air Force RC-135, a reconnaissance plane with about 30 people on board.
According to a U.S. military spokesperson, the Chinese jet came within 10 feet of the airplane’s wing, but 20 feet from its nose, causing the U.S. aircraft to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
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