LeBron James: My tweet about Ma’Khia Bryant fueled the ‘wrong debate.’
LeBron James has apologized for his offensive tweet about the Ohio cop who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, stating that he “fueled the wrong debate” about the girl.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar said on Twitter this week that he owes the conversation “it to her and this movement to change.”
Additionally, James expressed gratitude to Vox writer Fabiola Cineas for “educating us about Ma’Khia and her story, as well as why this needs to be about her.”
He included a link to Cineas’ article titled “Why they’re not telling Ma’Khia Bryant’s name,” in which she claimed that “viewers of different races and political affiliations” concluded Bryant was the knife-wielding “aggressor.”
“For Bryant, the cries for justice were not as loud as they were for George Floyd,” she wrote.
“Even after it was discovered that Bryant was in foster care, that she was in the midst of a fight with older women when police arrived, and that she was allegedly the one who summoned the police for assistance, people — including some of the same people who demanded justice in Floyd’s case — used police talking points to justify the four bullets Reardon fired into Bryant’s chest,” Cineas continued.
She also cited Treva Lindsey, an Ohio State University professor of African American women’s history, who stated that some people would see the teen not as a survivor but as someone who “brought this on herself.”
“And even though they do see her as a survivor, they will continue to victim-blame, obliterating the structural injustice — including the fact that Black children are much more likely than white children to be in foster care, and foster children are often subjected to high levels of abuse — that contributed to her being killed by police,” she wrote.
“People would think, ‘I’m very sorry this whole situation occurred, but had she not been carrying that knife….’ That becomes the qualifier, the caveat,” Lindsey explained to Vox.
“And all too much, when it comes to defending, securing, and caring for Black girls, we have a caveat,” she said.
James sparked outrage on April 21 by tweeting a photo of Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon with the foreboding caption, “YOU’RE NEXT.”
He later removed the tweet in the face of criticism, claiming that it was “being used to incite more hatred.”