LeBron James has been a leading voice in criticizing the police, claiming that America is irredeemably racist and that the system is broken. Though, only five years ago, he was insisting that “all lives matter” and saying not all cops are bad.
In 2016, during a discussion about Colin Kaepernick, James appeared quite reasonable when explaining his ideas on social justice activism to reporters.
During a press availability, James said, “I’m not up here saying all police are bad because they’re not. I’m not up here saying that all, you know, kids are great, and all adults are great because they’re not. But at the same time, all lives do matter, and it not just about, it’s not black or white, it’s not that, it’s everyone.”
— Eli Stein (@Fight_Back_NYC) April 22, 2021
This previous attitude seems a stark contrast to his more recent claims that things are more hopeless than he assumed them to be only a few years ago.
James most recently courted controversy with an April 21 tweet featuring a photo of a white Ohio police officer with the caption “YOU’RE NEXT.” The tweet came immediately after an Ohio police officer shot black teenager Ma’Khia Bryant as she threatened to stab another girl.
LeBron James tweeted a photo of a police officer who was present when Ma’Khia Bryant was shot, with the caption, “You’re Next.”
That looks inciting hatred to me. https://t.co/Q0osRE3q2L pic.twitter.com/maR1hFyed5
— Nikki😷 (@nikki_miumiu) April 21, 2021
James quickly deleted the tweet after a massive backlash accused him of threatening a police officer without taking the time to review the shooting to see what led to the incident.
In his attempt to explain why he deleted his tweet, James claimed that the “entire system” was broken.
“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,” he wrote.
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
The accusation that the country is somehow broken seems to be a far different sentiment than his proclamation that “not all cops are bad” and “‘all lives matter” made only a few years ago.
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