As one of the most polarizing figures in the sporting world, LeBron James attracts plenty of attention from fans - both good and bad. On Thursday, prior to the Lakers' game against the San Antonio Spurs, the four-time NBA champion made his feelings known about the violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters swarming the US Capitol. He wore a T-shirt that read, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?" along with a slogan, "In memoriam of the countless Black lives lost to police brutality and racial injustice.”
A few hours later, LeBron took to Instagram to upload a few pictures of himself with the T-shirt he wore earlier in the day. He also added a message on the post which sparked controversy on social media. LeBron's T-shirt was an apparent reference to the violent clashes that took at the US Capitol on Wednesday as Congress met to count the electors from the 2020 presidential election, which would confirm Joe Biden as the winner and president-to-be.
The violence at the Capitol overshadowed news from the previous day when it was revealed that prosecutors in the case of the police shooting of African-American citizen Jacob Blake would not file charges against the officer who fired the seven shots. Blake has been left paralyzed after the incident occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.
The caption on LeBron's Instagram post had the message from his T-shirt and it also read, "No matter what happens, you still won’t be judged, looked at crazy, chained, beaten, hung, shot to death cause of the colour of your skin!!!! 2 AMERIKKKAS we live in. FULL CAPACITY LIVE IN DIRECT yesterday in our Nations CAPITAL AT THE CAPITOL!"
However, LeBron faced the backlash from some of his followers. One replied to the post and wrote, "You have a great knowledge in basketball but the same doesn't apply in real life". A second added, "LeBron is living every black man's dream in the USA and still complaining. Don't think he's ever had to face any problems because of his skin colour." A third wrote, "A white unarmed woman was shot and killed... LeBron has never been accused of being the smartest".
The Lakers suffered their third defeat of the season on Thursday night as the Spurs recorded a 118-109 victory over the defending NBA champions. LeBron featured in the game despite a mild ankle issue. He dropped 27 points, 12 assists and six rebounds during his 35 minutes on the court.
Image Credits - LeBron James Instagram