Marcellus Wiley, former all-pro NFL defensive end and current sports analyst, slammed LeBron James late last week over a controversy that James sparked when he targeted a police officer, who saved a black girl from being stabbed, by tweeting out a picture of the officer and writing, “YOU’RE NEXT.”
Wiley criticized James for rushing to judgment on the case which came on the heels of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being convicted last week of murdering George Floyd last May.
“Who in the hell is looking at this situation any different?” Wiley asked about the shooting in Ohio that James responded to. “The cop has an impossible choice, which is to save a life I’m going have to take a life. And it’s just that simple. Like I get where we want to say, but this happened over here, but that ain’t this. I’m talking about right here.”
Wiley also took issue with James’ victim mentality after James claimed in a follow-up tweet, after deleting his tweet targeting the police officer, that “it’s about the entire system.”
“LeBron James in this tweet, what does he saying? ‘Oh man, the system.’ The system?” Wiley asked rhetorically. “The same system that is so broken that it allowed you to become a billionaire and never get arrested in it. But the system is broken? Are you speaking for other people? We have enough people out here telling us what not to do, what goes wrong. How about somebody who has made it? Single parent? LeBron James, what, he went to 10 different homes moving around Ohio his entire childhood. I would love to hear that story of how you became LeBron James against all odds, instead of always professing the odds are against all people.”
Wiley lamented that young people are growing up in a world where “they’re going to know victim’s names before they know professor’s names and wise scholars like Thomas Sowell.”
Wiley also slammed James for calling out the roughly 250 black people killed by police every year while ignoring the “7,500 homicides to black people every single year.” Wiley said that the 7,500 number “never gets the discussion” it deserves “because the people with the [influential] platform[s] are not highlighting that.”
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) April 23, 2021
MARCELLUS WILEY, SPORTS HOST: Let’s start here. I want to actually pray that his profoundness matches the power of his platform. I say it again, his profoundness will one day match the power of his platform. You basically said that like dawg, you can’t do this. You can’t be that irresponsible, if you’re LeBron James, because you have that much power. And we all know when you get that type of power the responsibility comes with it. The accountability that was deleted in that tweet is ironic, like to put up #accountability, which is something that we all need right now in this moment, accountability on all sides with all people, whether you are talking about the police officers, whether you are talking about the individuals in this situation or even the victim in this situation. Every situation with accountability, not just rooting interest. And that’s what’s interesting about this, LeBron James in terms of what he does for his day job, being a basketball player, second best at worst ever, maybe the GOAT. It’s amazing. There’s one glaring critique on his resume that he defers at critical times. Damn, I wish that was true in this moment, when it’s real issue, not just basketball wins and losses and points scored, when it’s real life issues. Where’s the deferred? In that moment LeBron, until all the facts come out, until you watch the video, until you come out and see what’s right from wrong in this situation. He should have passed in this moment. You know, people always say and I’m not agreeing with that ‘shut up and dribble,’ nah, just shsss, and pass. Wait for it to come. And then you’ll be able to see things clear. But this what happens when you want to be first, not right. And he has that platform, he has that power, he has those followers, and he knows that those people are listening for every single word that he’s going to profess.
So it’s crazy. You said check your emotions if you’re not emotional. I’m gonna check’em, because emotions can’t trump logic and that’s what’s happening. Your agenda can’t go before your acumen. You can’t pander before your principles. And right now, even if you get all the likes and all the retweets, you know what I say about social media, man, I am tired of people always going out there for likes and followers. Where’s the love and the leaders? And the LeBron James in so many respects, gosh you’re well intended, in so many respects gosh you do the greatest in which you touch and in endeavors, opening the schools, etc. We know his charitable contributions, how big his heart is. Can’t forget up here, because the statement goes like this, I don’t care how smart you are, if you don’t stop and think. LeBron James, he failed in that moment, don’t give a damn how smart you are if you don’t stop and think this is the moment that he regrets.
And I get the pull, I get why LeBron James wants to be first and right of course, but first, but in this moment, come on. Who in the hell is looking at this situation any different? The cop has an impossible choice, which is to save a life I’m going have to take a life. And it’s just that simple. Like I get where we want to say, but this happened over here, but that ain’t this. I’m talking about right here. And when you’re that powerful, LeBron, you have that platform, you have to stay in that play to use basketball terms. You have to stay in that vacuum. It’s just interesting when that happens, but LeBron James man, it’s been a lot of missteps man and I’m not going to balance it out because I think the good outweighs the bad. Certainly. But LeBron James has to understand, man, he goes out there and says, ‘well, you know, we live in two different Americas.’ I don’t believe that America is divided. I just think we different and right now is getting highlighted more so than ever, so it’s getting exaggerated. LeBron says he’s scared to leave his house. Why? But I’m not scared to leave my house and I’m not the LeBron James. I’m not enamored like LeBron James. He’s scared to leave his house. We can have that conversation another day. LeBron James in this tweet, what does he saying? ‘Oh man, the system.’ The system? The same system that is so broken that it allowed you to become a billionaire and never get arrested in it. But the system is broken? Are you speaking for other people? We have enough people out here telling us what not to do, what goes wrong. How about somebody who has made it? Single parent? LeBron James, what, he went to 10 different homes moving around Ohio his entire childhood. I would love to hear that story of how you became LeBron James against all odds, instead of always professing the odds are against all people.
I love LeBron James, you know, I think he’s the GOAT so don’t get me started on this but you got to look before you leap in anything in life. I don’t give a damn you rich, poor, or ugly. You got to look before you leap. LeBron just leaped in this one because he knew his followers will catch him. And that’s a problem. I give it to you like this. One ,your skin is not your sin. So when people start saying well entertainment and athletics. Yeah, and other lanes, we’re over here now, having our kids grow up in a world where they’re going to know victim’s names before they know professor’s names and wise scholars like Thomas Sowell or something like that. But here’s the sentence. Tell me how you feel about this sentence. LeBron James says, ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing black people killed by police,’ with that platform. How about this sentence? Instead of that, ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing black people killed.’ A little different. How about this sentence, even more idealistic, ‘I’m so damn tired of just seeing people killed.’ See the misstep, I can’t excuse that, in the misstep, like we harp on a play in a football game and we will spend a whole show on that. … But the irresponsibility that shows in the micro makes me say be responsible about the macro, like dawg, 250 black people killed by police every year. That’s 250 too many people. But in the macro sense, there’s 7,500 homicides to black people every single year as well. I’m not saying LeBron you got to put the focus on that fully, but let’s be responsible, we gonna just go in there and say I want to save 250 people, which we all do, but there’s 7,500 in totality that never gets the discussion because the people with the platform are not highlighting that. And that’s look, I grew up, I grew up trying to navigate around that. I am not scared of the police brother. I wouldn’t then, I’m not now.
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