LeBron James has an uncanny ability to get folks very mad when he offers his thoughts on things beyond the basketball court. The man who inspired the “shut up and dribble” phrase and used that to fuel his “More Than An Athlete” slogan has never been shy about voicing his opinion and using his massive platform to speak out on issues facing the Black community.
The latest example came this past week when Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts for murdering George Floyd, but the same day word emerged of the latest Black American shot and killed by a police officer, as Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl, was killed by police in Columbus, Ohio. After body cam footage was released showing the officer shooting Bryant four times, James tweeted “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” referencing Chauvin being convicted of murder, but those on the right took it as a call to violence against the officer. James would later clarify what he meant to remove any ambiguity, but as a regular target of right wing vitriol, that didn’t matter.
Among those outraged by James again taking a stand on police brutality and use of excessive force was an Ohio bar owner who posted to Facebook insisting he won’t show NBA games on TVs until James is “expelled” from the league — and also gave his own version of “shut up and dribble” saying no one wants their opinions. On Saturday, James caught wind of that story and offered a joking response that it’s a shame because he planned on watching Sunday’s Lakers-Mavs game from his bar.
Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp. https://t.co/RRfRksjckM
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 24, 2021
It wasn’t something James really needed to respond to — a bar owner getting mad online really shouldn’t have been a story national outlets were running with anyways — but if he did this is about as good a response as one could make. James has had sitting presidents go after him, so I don’t think an Ohio bar owner is really going to phase him too much.