It has been a while since NBA star LeBron James put up something with a political tinge on Twitter that drew the ire of conservative media. But in the heart of the trial of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse in Illinois, after Rittenhouse testified, sobbing, the Lakers forward weighed in.
Responding to a USA Today post that read, “Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears at his murder trial while on the witness stand,” James seemed to be of the opinion that there were no tears and that Rittenhouse’s outpouring of emotion was fake.
“What tears?????” James wrote. “I didn’t see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court.”
James’s tweet was retweeted more than 25,000 times and likes by around 200,000 Twitter users. But not everyone liked it so much.
The conservative sports site Outkick lambasted James, writing, “Always tweeting instead of leading, LeBron James proved that the best humanitarian effort he’s capable of providing is deactivating his social media.”
And the site’s chief, Clay Travis, turned to his usual criticism of James, which is that the Lakers star does not do enough to speak out on human rights in China. It remains unclear what the Rittenhouse trial, though, has to do with China.
“Hey @KingJames,” Travis wrote, “since you have time to make fun of a teenager in court, surely you have the time to announce you support human rights in China, right?”
Conservative pundit Stephen L. Miller wrote, “If Lebron James had come out stronger against a private citizen on trial in hopes of swinging a verdict than he has against China with concentration camps and ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Lebron James is a moral coward.”
Kenosha Protests Sparked Boycott in NBA Bubble
Rittenhouse, who is now 18, was charged with killing two people in August 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The protests were set off after video emerged of a white police officer shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, as he walked away from the officer and toward the front seat of his car.
That shooting, which occurred as the NBA was restarting its season, halted by the spread of COVID-19, in the bubble environment in Orlando, Florida. The shooting and subsequent protests had several players wondering if they should still be playing NBA games, and a boycott was weighed.
One team, the Bucks, refused to play, and others followed suit, bringing the schedule to a halt. Three days later, though, the games resumed.
Report Suggests LeBron’s Injury Is ‘Not Severe’
Of course, of more relevance to fans of basketball and the Lakers, James remains out because of an abdominal injury. There has been much trepidation on the injury among the Laker faithful because the team has been mum on the severity of the problem.
But there was an encouraging update from ESPN writer Brian Windhorst on Wednesday. Said Windhorst:
Yeah, this is not a severe injury. He is rehabbing this, and from what I am told, the rehab is going well. He may have to do some reconditioning a little bit, but this is not going to keep him out an extended period. He definitely has shown his age with some of these muscle injuries, there’s no doubt about that.
This is not something that is going to dramatically impact his ability. And it’s coming at a portion of the schedule with the Lakers where it’s not that difficult — they haven’t done great, I agree, but this is a time where if you’re going to nurse an injury, this is that time of the season. That’s what LeBron is doing.