LeBron James Is ‘Desperate For Accountability’ Amid Continued Police Violence
The Lakers player says he is "desperate for more accountability" following a wave of Black deaths at the hands of police.
April 22, 2021 at 11:23 pm
The tweet featured a photo of an officer with a caption that read, "You're next. #accountability,” CNN reported. It has not been confirmed whether the photo was of the officer who killed Bryant, who has been identified as Nicholas Reardon.
The teenager was gunned down about 30 minutes prior to the verdict being announced in the Derek Chauvin trial.
After deleting the tweet, which James says was inciting more hate, the 36-year-old clarified his thoughts, expressing how debilitating it is to constantly see Black people killed at the hands of police.
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police," he wrote. “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”
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— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
In September, James, who has consistently been a staunch advocate for social justice issues pertaining to Black lives, mentioned that he does not condone violence towards anyone, however, it’s imperative that he addresses police brutality against Black people
“I've never in my 35 years ever condoned violence,” James said, Sports Illustrated reported. “Never have … I'm not saying that all cops are bad, because I actually, you know, throughout high school and things of that nature, I’m around them all the time and they are not all bad. But when you see the videos that's going on, and you can see not only my hometown but all over America, you continue to see the acts of violence towards my kind, I can’t do nothing but to speak about it.”
“Not one time have I ever said, you know, ‘Let's act violent towards cops,’" he added. “I do not condone violence towards anyone — police, Black people, white people, anyone of color, anyone not of color, because that's not going to ever make this world or America what we want it to be.”
Despite James removing the tweet and previously stating that he does not endorse violence in any capacity, conservative politicians immediately denounced his comments.
"Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer," Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote on Twitter. "This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?"
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?
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also responded to James' tweet, calling it "grossly irresponsible."
"The left consistently goes after, attacks and demonizes police officers,” the Republican senator said in an appearance on Fox News Primetime. “Their immediate reaction, whenever there is an incident, is that police officers are in the wrong, the police officer is the villain."
"And in this instance, 'you're next' could certainly be interpreted by some, even, as a call for violence,” he added. "And I think it was a grossly irresponsible message for LeBron James to send out."In 2014, James made headlines for wearing a shirt that read “I Can’t Breathe," which were the last words uttered by Eric Garner before he died from being in a police chokehold.
"A lot of people kind of use this analogy, talking about Black Lives Matter as a movement. It's not a movement," James said, according to ESPN. "When you're Black, it's not a movement. It's a lifestyle. We sit here and say it's a movement, and, OK, how long is this movement going to last? 'Don't stop the movement.' No, this is a walk of life. When you wake up and you're Black, that is what it is. It shouldn't be a movement. It should be a lifestyle. This is who we are.”
"I don't like the word 'movement' because, unfortunately, in America and in society, there ain't been no damn movement for us. There ain't been no movement," he added.
“She was a child,” President Joe Biden's press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters Wednesday, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “We're thinking of her friends and family in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss. We know that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people in communities and that Black women and girls, like Black men and boys, experience higher rates of police violence. We also know that there are particular vulnerabilities that children in foster care, like Ma’Khia, face.”
Ultimately, James expressed that while his anger over Bryant’s death still remains, education and justice is the most important part of holding people accountable.
“My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!” he wrote in a tweet.