NBA basketball icon LeBron James has taken a beating on social media after saying black people are “our own worst enemy” in response to the police brutality incident that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.
Last week, the nation came to a standstill when released footage showed five black Memphis police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols during an arrest, which subsequently led to his death. Basketball star LeBron James, who has spent the latter half of his career pushing social justice messages regarding race, used the moment to say black people are “our own worst enemy.”
Initially, James responded to a tweet from MSNBC analyst Brittany Cunningham, which said that policing is a tool of systemic racism no matter the race of the officers.
“What’s really clear about some of the reaction to the murder of #TyreNichols is that we’ve failed to fully understand race and its construction as a *systemic tool.* The entire system of policing sees the Black body as a problem. No matter who pulls the trigger,” said Cunningham.
“TOO FACTUAL!!!” LeBron responded.
James later tweeted.
The comment appeared to anger some of the basketball star’s woke fans, who accused him of perpetuating white supremacist talking points.
The National Basketball Players Association and the Memphis Grizzlies said in separate statements that they were horrified by the incident and called for justice against the police officers.
We stand by the rightful arrest of all officers involved,” the National Basketball Players Association said in a statement. “Such aggressive and excessive force illustrates the continued need for accountability in the justice system.”
“We are distraught to find ourselves dealing with a needless loss of life due to police brutality, and this time it was one of Memphis’s own,” the Grizzlies said in their own statement. “We’re thinking of the Nichols family and friends and share the pain being felt throughout our community. So, let’s support each other and respect how our fellow Memphians are coping. We have faith in this city and our power to heal.”