Make sure you keep it clean when responding to LeBron James.
Social media has increasingly become a space where any opinion or statement can and will be used against you. Lives can be ruined and, in the case of a New Orleans business owner, jobs can be lost.
As first reported by “Outkick the Coverage,” Stephen Bruno Jr. is a Louisiana man who, up until recently, operated a PJ’s Coffee franchise in New Orleans.
Following weeks of anti-cop tweets, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers posted a message on Facebook that said “Protect our Young Black Women & Men!”
Bruno Jr. replied with an insult, telling James to ‘Eat a d***.’
— Kenn Barnes, ESQ. (@kennbarnes) May 3, 2021
The response was noticed by other Facebook users and went viral on Twitter after one user posted screenshots of Bruno Jr.’s comment alongside a description of his employment as a PJ’s Coffee franchisee.
Numerous users began tagging PJ’s coffee in the post, and soon, the chain responded.
“PJ’s Coffee does not tolerate hatred or disrespect of any kind,” the coffee chain said on Twitter. “The words used by Stephen Bruno Jr. were inappropriate and uncalled for. Our PJ’s Coffee Brand and our locations take pride in supporting the diverse communities in which we serve. Stephen Bruno Jr. has been removed as a franchisee from the locally owned and operated franchise location.”
removed as a franchisee from the locally owned and operated franchise location, to read more about how PJ’s Coffee is standing together, please visit our website at https://t.co/j0QBzDNYmE.
— PJ's Coffee (@pjscoffee) May 5, 2021
The news comes as James faces a backlash for his recent response to the shooting of a black woman in Columbus, Ohio. The woman who was killed, Ma’Khia Bryant, was reportedly in the midst of attempting to stab another black woman when the officer opened fire, potentially saving the life of the woman about to be stabbed.
James tweeted in response to the shooting with a picture of the officer, writing, “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.” James later deleted the post.
.@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
He followed up, not with an apology, but with an explanation.
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James said. “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.”
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. 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
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
This isn’t the first time that someone has faced consequences just for responding to James.
An Idaho marshal’s deputy faced an investigation after posting an online video mocking James’ response to the shooting.
“The Bellevue Marshal’s Office is aware of the extreme controversy regarding Deputy Marshal Silvester’s viral TikTok. The statements made do NOT represent the Bellevue Marshal’s Office. The Bellevue Marshal’s Office always demands that our Deputies engage with our citizens in a friendly and professional manner,” Bellevue’s Marshal’s Office said in a statement. “This NOT how we expect our Deputies to act on duty or use city time. This is a personnel issue that is being dealt with internally. We would like to thank everyone that took time to reach out to us. We greatly value our relationship within our wonderful community.”
The officer involved was placed under administrative leave but has since landed himself a book deal with Di Angelo Publications.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.