Fox Sports’ Marcellus Wiley criticized LeBron James on live television for posting a tweet targeting a police officer who shot a 16-year-old black girl in order to save another teen’s life.
“I want to actually pray that his found this profoundness matches the power of his platform,” he said on Thursday during “Speak For Yourself.”
“Dog, 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 that responsibility comes with it,” he said.
Wiley called James’ follow-up tweet about accountability “ironic,” and explained how it exposes his weaknesses.
“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 a real issue, not just basketball wins and losses and points scored when it’s real-life issues,” Wiley said. “Where is the deferring in that moment 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 … you want to be first, not right.”
Damn, this is good. Well said @marcelluswiley: pic.twitter.com/w4nnhudczW
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 23, 2021
James, Wiley said, chose to think with emotion instead of his head and it caused damage.
“Emotions can’t trump logic and that’s what’s happening,” Wiley explained. “Your agenda can’t go before your acumen. You can’t pander before your principles, right now, even if you get all the likes and all the retweets.”
Speaking on an issue before gathering the facts, Wiley said, is “hurting more than is helping” and taking attention away from the real problems.
The cop has an impossible choice which is: ‘To save a life, I have to take a life,’ and it’s just that simple. [James] goes out there 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 it’s getting highlighted more so than ever, so it’s getting exaggerated’ … he says, ‘oh, man, the system.’ The same system that is so broken, it allows you to become a billionaire and never get arrested in it but the system is broken?
Caring about black people dying, Wiley said, is important but needs broader attention than what the narrative asks for.
LeBron James says ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing black people killed by police.’ How about this sentence instead of that, ‘I’m so damn tired of seeing black killed?’ How about this sentence, even more idealistic. ‘I’m so damn tired of just seeing people killed?’ Wiley said.
“Two hundred and fifty black people are killed by police every year, that’s 252 million people. But in the macro sense, there are 7,500 homicides to black people every year as well. I’m not saying Lebron you got that put the focus on that fully, but let’s be responsible … there’s 7,500 in totality that never get the discussion because the people with the platform are not highlighting that.”
Former President Donald Trump also condemned the professional basketball player’s tweet on Thursday as irresponsible.
“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 in a statement.