Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James found himself in hot water this week.
On Wednesday, James tweeted 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.
The Lakers star posted a photo of Reardon with a caption that read “You’re Next.”
James’ message immediately elicited a response from many, including Senator Tom Cotton, who argued that it incited violence against the officer.
“This is disgraceful and dangerous,” Cotton wrote Wednesday. “Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?”
Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer.
This is disgraceful and dangerous.
Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 21, 2021
James subsequently deleted the tweet, but that hasn’t stopped many from calling for his suspension.
The NBA must immediately fine and suspend LeBron James!
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) April 21, 2021
The woman in this video with the knife in her hand was shot and killed by a cop.
LeBron James, who defends China at all costs, wants that police officer in prison.
Society is going in insane. Should the cop have just watched a potential murder unfold? pic.twitter.com/RgKQc1fLPq
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) April 21, 2021
So Lebron James will be getting a call from a detective shortly right? And if the NBA doesn’t fine or suspend him they should be ashamed! He threatened a police officer
— Tom Clayton (@Tclaytes) April 21, 2021
Almost 45,000 people liked this @KingJames tweet, which is an obvious threat towards specific law enforcement officer, before it was deleted.
Unacceptable.@twitter needs to suspend LeBron James. Law enforcement needs to investigate. Officer should sue LeBron, Lakers and NBA. pic.twitter.com/N4HJnmsxjQ
— Mr T 2 (@GovtsTheProblem) April 21, 2021
— SemperFiVirginia (@fi_virginia) April 21, 2021
James is no stranger to taking strong stands on social issues. He did it with President Donald Trump. He did it during the 2020 Elections. And he did it when he helped contribute more than $27 million so that felons could vote. Some people love him for it – others not so much.
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 19, 2021
But this time around, it genuinely feels like he is on the wrong side of the issue. Which probably explains why he immediately went back and deleted his tweet.
Will the league ultimately step in and suspend or punish him for “inciting violence”? Time will tell.