LeBron James Says He 'Fueled the Wrong Conversation' About Ma'Khia Bryant's Death with Controversial Tweet

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty; Paula Bryant Lebron Jame, MaKha Bryant

LeBron James is addressing the controversial message he posted on Twitter last month regarding the fatal police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl from Columbus, Ohio.

The NBA star's tweet, which has since been deleted, featured a photo of officer Nicholas Reardon, who shot Bryant. James' caption alongside the photo read, "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY" with an hourglass emoji. (James' message was seemingly a reference to the guilty verdict that day in the murder case of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd.)

James, 36, deleted the tweet after receiving backlash from many. He later shared two follow-up messages at the time and said his original comment was "being used to create more hate."

On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers star again addressed his comment in a Twitter post that also included the link to a Vox article written by Fabiolo Cineas titled, "Why they're not saying Ma'Khia Bryant's name."

"I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma'Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it," James said in his latest message on the topic. "Thank you @fabiolacineas for educating us about Ma'Khia and her story and why this needs to be about her #sayhername#Blacklivesmatter."

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RELATED: LeBron James Tweets, Then Deletes Message About Ma'Khia Bryant: It Was 'Used to Create More Hate'

Cineas' article extensively covers the April 20 death of Bryant and the public response to it. (Bryant was holding a knife amidst an altercation with two other young women over housekeeping chores at the foster home they shared when she was shot four times by Officer Reardon, police have said.)

In the piece, Cineas wrote that "it's worth considering whether the police officer would have fired shots if Bryant or the people involved in the altercation were white."

Paula Bryant Ma'Khia Bryant

After being shot, Bryant was transported to Mount Carmel East Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m. local time, police told The Columbus Dispatch.

Reardon, a Columbus police officer since December 2019, has been placed on paid leave while the shooting is investigated.

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Stephen Zenner/Getty Protesters took to the streets of Columbus after the police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant

Stephen Zenner/Getty A protester reacts to the police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant

RELATED: Investigation Continues into Police Shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, 16, as Family Speaks Out

The shooting took place just before Chauvin's guilty verdict for the May 2020 murder of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Chauvin was convicted of all three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — that he faced.

James was among many stars to react to the verdict on social media, writing on Twitter, "ACCOUNTABILITY."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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