Former President Donald Trump unloaded on NBA star LeBron James on Thursday after James tweeted out a photo this week targeting a police officer who saved a black girl from being stabbed.
“LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League,” Trump said. “His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning. He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”
Trump’s comments bashing James, who is a left-wing Democrat activist, comes after James faced intense backlash this week after he tweeted the photograph of the police officer, writing, “YOU’RE NEXT” with an emoji of an hourglass, a symbol that signifies that time is running out.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 21, 2021
Outrage over James’ tweet was so severe that he deleted the tweet less than two hours after posting it and released a statement over the incident, but did not apologize for his actions.
“ANGER does [sic] any of us any good and that includes myself!” James said. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James continued. “I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -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.”
The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) responded to James’ tweet by writing: “@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.”
.@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless.
The officer saved a young girl's life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact. pic.twitter.com/GTHn1VAAlf
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) April 21, 2021
Michael Woods, the interim police chief of Columbus, said at a press conference that video of the incident showed “the female with the knife,” who the police officer shot and killed, was “attempting to stab” another female in the video.
“Normally we don’t provide information this soon, but we understand the public’s need, desire, and expectation to have transparency upon what happened,” Woods said. “We’ve worked very hard tonight to provide you a short video of the officer, the first officer that arrived at scene and this is the officer that did ultimately fire his weapon.”
“We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community, but a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said during the press briefing. “We think it’s critically important to share as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. So we’ll continue to share footage, other information in the hours and days ahead, making sure we’re not in any way shape or form compromising the independent investigation being done by BCI. We felt transparency and sharing this footage as incomplete as it may be at this time is critically important to make sure we were sharing good accurate information about what transpired today with the public and for this grieving family.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.