Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sparked controversy this week with an ill-advised tweet.
On Wednesday, James argued for the prosecution of Columbus, Ohio, police officer Nicholas Reardon, who shot and killed a black teen as she appeared to be attacking two females with a knife. He did this by posting a photo of Reardon with a caption that read “You’re Next.”
After an outpouring of criticism, James went back and deleted the tweet.
That wasn’t enough to quell his haters, though.
Former UFC interim champ Colby Covington immediately came out with a harsh message directed at James over the entire situation.
Painting targets on the backs of innocent officers is so brave and courageous @KingJames! You’re a real hero… to the people’s republic of China 🇨🇳
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) April 22, 2021
The reference to China is a callback to James famously defending China from criticism over the country’s human rights violations because of all the money both he and the league generate from it.
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 19, 2021
Thus far, James has not responded to Covington.
As far as what comes next for James – many are wondering whether or not he will be suspended. There is an argument to be made that he incited potential violence against the police officer involved, and if the league determines that to be the case, a punishment of some sort may be in order.