Fox Sports commentator Marcellus Wiley blasted NBA star LeBron James on Thursday for tweeting, “You’re next” about a Columbia, Ohio police officer who shot a 16-year-old Black teen last week while she was apparently attacking another girl with a knife, according to TheBlaze.
“Dog, you can’t do this. 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,” he said on the Fox Sports show Speak for Yourself.
Video, including police bodycam footage from multiple angles, revealed that the officer-involved shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant likely have saved the life of a girl who Bryant appeared to be milliseconds away from stabbing.
“We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said of the shooting, according to NBC News.
James deletes tweet, backlash ensues
James deleted the controversial tweet shortly after posting it as more information about the officer-involved shooting of Bryant became available, but it went viral anyway and a firestorm of social media backlash ensued.
Wiley suggested that James wanted to be first in attacking the police over the shooting, which given recent events, is a common theme among celebrities with major platforms.
“There’s one glaring critique on his resume: that he defers at critical times… I wish that was true in this moment when it’s a real issue, not just basketball wins and losses and points scored, when it’s real-life issues,” Wiley said. “Where is the deferring in that moment until all the facts come out, until you watch the video, until you come out and see what’s right from wrong in this situation…you want to be first, not right.”
The tweet was similar in narrative to previous commentary from James regarding police-involved shootings of Black men, but Wiley pointed out that James was only focused on law enforcement shootings, rather than shootings perpetrated by gangs and other criminals who run rampant in Democrat-run cities like Columbus.
Focus on police
“LeBron James says ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.’ How about this sentence instead of that, ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing Black [people] killed?’ How about this sentence, even more idealistic. ‘I’m so damn tired of just seeing people killed?’” Wiley said, according to The Federalist.
“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 also criticized James for tweets in which James implied America is a broken system.
“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 wants to see James telling the story of “somebody who has made it” instead of immediately attempting to divide the country after tragedies like these.