Former President Donald Trump released a statement Thursday ridiculing NBA player LeBron James after the Lakers star threatened a Columbus, Ohio police officer who saved the life of a teenage girl on the verge of being stabbed. James tweeted “You’re Next #ACCOUNTABILITY” on Tuesday, but deleted it after backlash.
“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.
Indeed, NBA ratings have been down for years. The Athletic reported last week that the league has an average of 2.83 million viewers for premium network games this season, compared to the all-time low of 2.95 million last season. The NBA Finals had ratings down 51 percent, with the final game down 70 percent year-over-year. In September, a poll showed 39 percent of respondents thought the league was overly political.
Choose your fighter pic.twitter.com/6pkRxbm1PM
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) April 23, 2021
After deleting his tweet, James wrote, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it’s 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
The Federalist contacted the Staples Center arena — where the Los Angeles Lakers play — to see if they would condemn James’s words. Not only did the company decline to do so, but it also declined to say it maintains respect for the law enforcement who work in its arena.
“His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning,” Trump added. “He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”