LeBron James has clapped back at a bar owner in Cincinnati who has reportedly refused to broadcast NBA games until the league expels the Lakers star after his controversial tweet over a police shooting.
Jay Linneman runs Linne’s Pub in the Delhi Township, on the westside of Ohio’s third-largest city.
This week, the state has been in the global spotlight after a policeman shot dead a knife-wielding female black teenager in its capital, Columbus.
James, who hails from Akron, took to Twitter and caused a storm by posting a photo of the accused officer along with the caption “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” and an hourglass emoji.
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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
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
Later deleting post, Lebron explained his reasons for doing so.
“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. [And] I took the tweet down because it’s being used to create more hate,” he wrote.
“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,” James concluded.
But this still wasn’t enough to calm the critics, with ex-baseball player Aubrey Huff advising him to “move to China,” and bar owner Linneman now reportedly joining them with his drastic action.
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“They [basketball players] just need to play the game and that’s it,” Linneman said when explaining his move.
“Their opinion doesn’t really matter. They’re using their position to push their opinions, and that’s just not right.”
Linneman claimed that if Donald Trump or his successor President Joe Biden made similar demands, calls would be made for “impeachment”.
“If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don’t come to Linnie’s Pub,” he warned on Facebook, in a post that has been praised by the right and attacked by the left.
“We will not air them until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA.”
James has now got wind of the news, responding with a jokey tweet on Saturday: “Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp.”
The Ohio-born James was sidelined with injury on Saturday night as the Lakers took on the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers went down to a 108-93 loss on the road at the American Airlines Center.