Not long after 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by a Columbus, Ohio police officer who was responding to a chaotic scene at which Bryant was seconds away from stabbing another girl, NBA star LeBron James tweeted a controversial image of the police officer who was involved with a caption reading, “You’re next,” which many took as meaning it was a threat on the officer’s life.
James received immediate and fierce backlash for the tweet, which he deleted not long after he posted it. But according to TheBlaze, the damage was already done in the eyes of Fox Sports commentator Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL player who slammed the NBA legend for judging the situation long before any facts or details were released.
“Emotions can’t trump logic”
Wiley held nothing back during a segment on FS1’s Speak For Yourself, telling viewers that he believes James’ tweet was not only unnecessary but also irresponsible, given how early it was after the tragedy occurred.
“Dog, you can’t do this,” Wiley reportedly said. “You can’t be that irresponsible if you’re LeBron James because you have that much power, and we all know when you get that type of power that responsibility comes with it.”
Wiley credited James with having such a massive platform and usually using it for good, including charitable acts and pushing important social messages, but admitted that “King James” truly messed up this time around.
“Emotions can’t trump logic, and that’s what’s happening,” Wiley said. “Your agenda can’t go before your acumen. You can’t pander before your principles.”
Wiley insisted that even though the events that occurred on that day in Columbus were unfortunate and sad, James should have “passed in this moment.”
The follow-up tweets
Not long after James deleted his controversial tweet in which he targeted the Columbus cop, he followed up by posting more controversial messages about America’s justice system.
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
Wiley slammed James for those tweets as well, reminding him that while America isn’t perfect, it’s the one country on Earth that allows people like James to achieve the American dream and mint billions of dollars along with the ability to live a life of luxury that most can’t even perceive.
“The same system that is so broken, it allows you to become a billionaire and never get arrested in it — but the system is broken?” Wiley said, adding that he urges James to tell his own story about “somebody who has made it… I would love to hear that story of how you became LeBron James against all odds instead of always professing the odds are against all people.”
While there’s a growing effort to boycott the NBA until James is punished, it’ll likely have very little effect on his career or ability to earn. In the meantime, James should look into heeding some of Wiley’s advice and telling his followers how to succeed in America as someone fighting against all odds, which would be exponentially more helpful and impactful in the big picture.