Critical race theory activist Ibram X. Kendi came to LeBron James’s defense on Thursday morning after the NBA star targeted a police officer who saved a black girl from being stabbed this week, claiming that the police officer who shot the attacker should have “disarm[ed]” her instead.
James—a left-wing activist who sometimes plays professional basketball and often makes inflammatory remarks—tweeted a photograph of the police officer, posting: “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.” James concluded his post with an hourglass emoji, signifying that time is running out.
Kendi—who is a strong advocate for critical race theory in America, which the US federal government previously stated is “divisive” and “un-American propaganda”—defended James during an appearance on CNN when he was invited to respond to James’s inflammatory tweet.
“In this particular case, LeBron James spoke out. He tweeted a picture of the officer, the officer who allegedly shot Ma’Khia and he said, ‘you’re next,’” CNN host Brianna Keilar said. “He has since deleted that tweet. What is your reaction to that? Does that add to the tension? Is that appropriate?”
“I think it’s important for us to recognize that people are very, very angry and upset and outraged and people including LeBron James, you know, including others, they witnessed, you know, I don’t want to speak for LeBron, but I know many people feel as if they did not witness police work,” Kendi claimed.
“They witnessed someone being killed and even potentially murdered. And of course, like with any other case, people are going to be outraged that someone did not come and de-escalate the situation, disarm that girl, so everyone could have gone home safely that evening.”
Backlash to James’s tweet was so severe that he decided to take it down less than two hours after posting it. James later posted two tweets in response to the situation and did not apologize for what many felt was putting a target on the back of the police officer.
“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.”
Damning responses to James’s inflammatory post rocked across Twitter, including:
- Kmele Foster: “Narrative Commitments + Retribution > Facts + Effectual Reforms This is a recipe for savagery, not #Accountability”
- Dana Loesch: “Apparently the life of the girl nearly stabbed to death didn’t matter.”
- Tom Cotton: “Lebron James is inciting violence against an Ohio police officer. This is disgraceful and dangerous. Is the NBA okay with this? Is Twitter?”
- Clay Travis: “Did you even watch the video, bud? He shot a woman armed with a knife trying to kill an unarmed person! Here’s his perspective. This is even more shameful than you shutting up and dribbling for your boy Chairman Xi in China.”
- Benjamin Weingarten: “A very responsible Chinese asset.”
- Megyn Kelly: “How dare you? This is disgusting & dangerous. He saved the life of a young Black woman under attack. This is incredibly irresponsible.”
- Mark Davis: “Officer who protected a girl from getting stabbed is now the subject of a terrorist threat from America’s most famous athlete. Nice to see the #DerekChauvin verdict calmed everybody down. This is contemptible.”
- Caleb Hull: “He saved a girl’s life from being shanked, but I guess her black life didn’t matter to you?”
- Logan Hall: “The NBA should fine lebron thousands for every minute this tweet remains active. #accountability”
- Bryan Dean Wright: “Things are going to get horrifically worse in this country before they get better.”
- Sean Davis: “Nothing to see here, just the Chinese Communist Party’s favorite illiterate apparatchik trying to incite the assassination of a police officer who saved a girl from being stabbed to death.”
- John Gage: “This is basically LeBron putting a hit out on this officer’s head. Blood on his hands if something happens to this officer or his family.”
- The Daily Caller: “Working class police Officer targeted by billionaire professional athlete because he didn’t let someone be stabbed to death.”
- Jason Rantz: “LeBron James is a bad person who masquerades as a hero.”