Police officers began responding last week to the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James targeting a police officer on social media by mocking the NBA star in TikTok videos.
The videos came after James posted a photograph to Twitter last week of a police officer in Ohio that shot and killed a black girl who was attempting to stab another black girl. James wrote, “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.” James also included an emoji of an hour glass, signifying that time is running out. After intense backlash, James deleted the tweet in less than two hours.
“Nate Silvester, an officer with the Marshal’s Office in Bellevue, Idaho, took mocking James to another level in a TikTok video that has drawn nearly 2.5 million views so far,” Newsweek reported. The video shows Silvester pretending to respond to calls from dispatch before radioing back that he needs permission from James before he can act. Newsweek noted that the video had been viewed more than 2.5 million times on TikTok.
A policeman calls LeBron for advice in hilarious viral video pic.twitter.com/iQmLOKFXHr
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 25, 2021
Another video that went viral on social media showed a separate police officer making a similar video mocking James.
Police officer mocks LeBron James. Glorious.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 26, 2021
After James deleted his tweet last week, he posted two messages to Twitter but did not apologize for the tweet that he blasted out to his nearly 50 million followers on Twitter.
“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.”
Linne’s Pub, a bar in James’ home state of Ohio, announced last week that they would no longer show NBA games until James is “expelled” from the league.
“If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub,” Linne’s Pub owner Jay Linneman said in a Facebook post. “We will not air them until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA.”
Linneman told a local newspaper that the players needed to just play the game and that’s it. “Their opinion doesn’t really matter,” Linneman said. “They’re using their position to push their opinions, and that’s just not right.”
James responded to news that the bar banned NBA games by mocking them, writing on Twitter: “Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp.”
Former President Donald Trump also slammed James last week over his tweet, writing that he is doing nothing to unite the country.
“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!”