LeBron James deletes tweet targeting officer who shot Ma'Khia Bryant

LeBron James has deleted a tweet he posted Tuesday night in reaction to the shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, amid a vocal response from conservative voices including former president Donald Trump.

The tweet in question featured a picture of Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon, who shot the 16-year-old Bryant while responding to a 911 call on Tuesday. The tweet read "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY" and included an hourglass emoji:

Screengrab of LeBron James' deleted tweet. (Twitter)
Screengrab of LeBron James' deleted tweet. (Twitter)

The tweet likely refers to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of three charges, including second-degree murder. James posted a tweet that simply read "ACCOUNTABILITY" after the verdict, and appeared to be calling for the Columbus officer to receive similar consequences.

James said tweet was used to 'create more hate'

James' tweet received a fierce backlash from conservatives on social media, where debate has raged about the shooting of Bryant. While details were initially limited about the shooting as protesters gathered at Columbus police headquarters, officials have since released bodycam footage showing Bryant appearing to attack a young woman with a knife as she was shot.

A day after posting the tweet, James said he deleted it because it was "being used to create more hate" and called for more accountability in the criminal justice system.

James also posted a tweet appearing to say he had been tweeting out of anger and should have gathered all the facts, but remains sympathetic to Bryant and her family.

James has been out for the Lakers since mid-March with a high ankle sprain, but was recently reported to have progressed to light work on the court with his rehab.

Donald Trump accuses LeBron James of racist rants

A day after James said he deleted the tweet, Trump released a statement blasting James for "RACIST rants" that are "divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning" and claimed the NBA had hit another ratings low.

While NBA regular season and playoff ratings sagged last year, the story is considerably more complicated than players alienating fans by protesting racial injustice. The ratings also aren't a huge concern for the league, which CNBC reports is seeking a television deal in the range of $7 billion to $8 billion per year.

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