Twitter said it would not take action on a tweet posted by basketball player LeBron James targeting a Columbus police officer who fatally shot an knife-wielding assailant attacking an unidentified woman in Columbus, Ohio last week. The company claims its hands are tied because James deleted his tweet before the company could decide if it broke the rules.
“YOU’RE NEXT, #ACCOUNTABILITY” tweeted James last week, along with a picture of the police officer’s face, after news of the shooting emerged.
Video footage later revealed that the police officer took a split-second decision to discharge his firearm, as the assailant, 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant, was about to stab another young black woman with a knife.
The basketball player later deleted the tweet following backlash and mockery from other users of the social media platform.
The Arizona Republican Party went so far as to say that James’ tweet constituted a threat against an officer of the law, and that he should be arrested.
“He’s worth in excess of $500 MILLION courtesy of our economic system, our so-called “racist” society, and some talent playing a GAME. Yet LeBron James, is free to THREATEN an officer of the law. He should be arrested, not excused,” said the Arizona GOP.
He's worth in excess of $500 MILLION courtesy of our economic system, our so-called "racist" society, and some talent playing a GAME. Yet LeBron James, is free to THREATEN an officer of the law. He should be arrested, not excused. #BoycottNBA #Hypocrisy #Lakers #NBA pic.twitter.com/6csNhpSYR7
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 22, 2021
Twitter, however, will impose no consequences on the basketball player. The social media company said that as James deleted the tweet, it could no longer take action on the matter.
It’s not the first time James has made controversial political statements that have attracted widespread scorn. In 2019, the basketball player waded into the China-Hong Kong debate, criticizing the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, for publicly supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. At the time, James complained that Morey’s criticism of China could “harm” a lot of people, including “financially.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.