NBA star LeBron James created a flutter on social media after he posted a picture of Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon and tweeted "YOU'RE NEXT". Reardon has been identified as the cop who killed black teen Ma'Khia Bryant while responding to a domestic dispute call.
The knife-wielding 16-year-old black teen was killed after Reardon fired four shots as she tried to stab another girl. Reardon, who has been on the force for less than two years, has been placed on leave following the incident.
LeBron James Explains Why he Deleted His Tweet
Angered over the killing of the black teen, James, who is a staunch supporter of Black Lives Matter movement, tweeted picture of Reardon and wrote, "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY." The tweet which appeared on his page from 3.26pm ET was deleted around 5pm ET. The controversial tweet was made after former cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the police custody death of George Floyd, by a jury in Minneapolis. Reacting to the outcome, James had tweeted "ACCOUNTABILITY," following the verdict.
In a separate tweet, the former Cleveland Cavalier gave out the reason for taking down his tweet. "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," James wrote. "It's about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY," he wrote.
The New York Post reported that after deleting the tweet, James wrote: "ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! 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!"
Social Media Reacts Sharply to James Tweet
The NBA star's controversial tweet was not well received by several social media users who accused James of threatening and inciting violence against Reardon.
"Why did LeBron James just threaten the cop in Columbus, Ohio who saved the young black girl's life?" wrote a user.
"Lebron James should be suspended for the remainder of the NBA season and permanently suspended from Twitter," tweeted a user.
"Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer. This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?" tweeted Tom Cotton.
"On behalf of pro athletes, current and former, I apologize for how #LeBronJames just showed his inner Maxine Waters and made a very real, ongoing threat to the life of the officer who quickly acted to prevent a knife attack from becoming worse. Many of us appreciate what LEOs do!" tweeted Lenny Dykstra.