LeBron James Says He 'Fueled the Wrong Conversation' After Ma'Khia Bryant Shooting

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 2: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Toronto Raptors on May 2, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James addressed his original reaction to the police killing of Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio.

In a since-deleted tweet, James shared a photo of a Columbus police officer with the caption, "You're next. #accountability." On Monday, he wrote he "fueled the wrong conversation about [Bryant]."

LeBron James @KingJames

I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma’Khia Bryant and I owe it to her and this movement to change it. Thank you @fabiolacineas for educating us about Ma’Khia and her story and why this needs to be about her. https://t.co/Owh1vDJWXi #sayhername #Blacklivesmatter

He previously acknowledged taking the tweet in question down because it was "being used to create more hate."

LeBron James @KingJames

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

Columbus police received reports of an attempted stabbing on April 20. Body camera footage showed the officers arriving at the scene of a physical confrontation between multiple people. Bryant had a knife in her hand and appeared to swing at multiple women.

Officer Nicholas Reardon shot Bryant, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The shooting occurred roughly 30 minutes before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

Following the killing of Bryant, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther asked the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the city's police department to identify any systemic issues within it.