LeBron James deleted a tweet on Wednesday that shared a photo of the officer who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant and included the caption, “You’re next.”
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its [sic] being used to create more hate,” the NBA star tweeted. “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.”
Earlier on Wednesday, James tweeted a photo of Nicholas Reardon, the police officer identified by the Columbus police as having shot Bryant, alongside the caption “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.”
The comment led to backlash from some U.S. senators like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, both of whom accused the Los Angeles Laker of “inciting violence.”
In another tweet on Wednesday, James said that his “anger still is here” for what happened to Bryant, who was shot and killed on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, shortly before Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. According to Bryant’s family, the 16-year-old had called 911 to request protection from a group of other kids who had threatened her.
“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though!” James also tweeted. “My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”