Is LeBron James Tweet Worthy Of Punishment?

LeBron James Tweet

Is LeBron James Tweet Worthy Of Punishment? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

The basketball world was in shock Wednesday afternoon when LeBron James tweeted “Your Next” to an Ohio police officer under investigation for using deadly force in an apparent effort to save a woman’s life. James, an Ohio native, tweeted a photo of the officer with the two-words and the hashtag “Accountability” one day after former police office Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd in Minneapolis. After clearly not knowing all the details of the story, James deleted his tweet, leaving many to ask if he should be punished for his recklessness by the Los Angeles Lakers, or by commissioner Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association. 

Adam Silver has allowed NBA players to voice their opinions and feelings on social issues and current events under his watch as league commissioner. Silver has also worked with the Players Association to give the league one loud voice and clear message when expressing the opinions of its players. LeBron James has been at the forefront of most of these calls for social reform for years, with the future Hall of Famer using his platform on social media to express himself often.

While normally a positive voice for change, the rush to judgement by LeBron James has caused such a backlash against his tweet that is careless and irresponsible in ways that he probably doesn’t even understand. That’s because for James or any other high-profile person to do what he did opens up the door for thousands of others to go beyond his words by saying even more provocative things, or worse, carrying out his words with dangerous actions.

Admittedly, it is difficult for Adam Silver to do anything to LeBron James since it is Silver who has opened the door for NBA players to express their opinion, no matter how badly informed they may be. As a result, it is probably up to James himself to use the same volume he used for his “your next” tweet to issue an apology and not just delete his condemned message.  Furthermore, James should also, in no uncertain terms, admit to a rush to judgement against the police officer and, in doing so, acknowledge he was ill-informed about the details of the case. 

 

LeBron James knows he screwed up, which is why his tweet was removed. However, that is not enough here, because what he did has happened too many times before. This time it is James who needs to admit his mistake as loudly as he made it; and if he doesn’t, then under the rules of conduct detrimental to the league, Adam Silver must act by suspending LeBron James for doing something James himself would not permit others to do without being called out. 

The worst kind of opinion to have is one based on half-truths and incomplete information; that’s how rumors get started and false narratives created. LeBron James could have set off a powder keg with his tweet because that’s how important he is in American society, and he must understand that from this point forward that making a mistake like that cannot be tolerated by the Lakers or the NBA. This cannot be just about his brand, but about what the uniform he wears means to his fans and the NBA logo on his uniform means nationally and internationally.

Let’s hope LeBron acts now as he has done in the past, with the same passion to correct his own mistake he has asked others to use when correcting theirs. Otherwise, in my mind, the status of LeBron James will forever be tarnished in ways even a real king couldn’t repair, let alone a social media king. 

 


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Is LeBron James Tweet Worthy Of Punishment? | TooAthletic.com

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