In 2019, LeBron James warned that we should be “careful what we tweet” because even though we have “freedom of speech,” a lot of “negative” comes with that.
In 2021, LeBron James would have done well to listen to his own advice.
After then-Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, James and the rest of the NBA sought to immediately repair the damage done to the relationship with their communist overlords by attacking Morey.
James, in particular, responded in a way that his communist benefactors would have appreciated: By warning of the dangers that “freedom of speech” and Twitter could pose.
LeBron in 2019 on Daryl Morey's tweets supporting Hong Kong:
"So many people could have been harmed…so just be careful what we tweet, what we say…we do have freedom of speech but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too."
He should listen to his own advice. pic.twitter.com/j1TVvHnCkf
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) April 21, 2021
James felt no need for such caution on Wednesday when he tweeted and then deleted a picture of a police officer present at the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting with a caption that read, “YOU’RE NEXT.”
James has since deleted the tweet, but a screenshot remains.
Later Wednesday evening, James attempted to explain why he deleted the tweet by saying he was “so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.”
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
Of course, James did not explain why he was angry at the police officer when all he was trying to do was save the life of the black woman that Bryant was assaulting with a knife. Another explanation James could offer is why he felt Morey’s tweet supporting free speech, and democracy posed such a threat. Yet, he had no problem whatsoever posting the picture of a police officer who could easily be targeted for retribution by an angry mob?
Maybe James only sees the “negative” in free speech when it directly impacts his wallet.