LeBron James’ response to the tragic shooting death of a black unarmed jogger in Georgia has led to a hyperbolic Twitter reply from Fox Sports host Jason Whitlock.
Ahmaud Arbery was killed on Feb. 25 by a white father and son and the recent release of frightening cell phone footage of the incident has led to outrage and renewed calls for justice.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” James wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud(Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family.”
Whitlock, known for his incendiary social media stances, seized on James’ comments to rebuke the Lakers star and offer a bizarre Michael Jordan comparison.
“This isn’t helpful,” Whitlock, who co-hosts “Speak for Yourself” on Fox Sports, wrote.
“It’s twitter trolling. It’s using this man’s tragedy to build a brand as more outspoken than Michael Jordan. There are all kinds of ways to draw attention to this tragedy. Suggesting that we are hunted everyday/every time is just s–t-stirring.”
James’ NBA colleagues rushed to defend James and attack Whitlock for doing exactly what he was accusing James of — making a tragedy all about him.
“You sure you’re not trolling and making it about you? He’s using his platform to speak out on a tragedy and you making it about him and MJ. Do better big bro!” James’ former Cavaliers teammate Kendrick Perkins wrote.
“Because for @WhitlockJason its all about likes and retweets smh…” wrote 76ers star Tobias Harris.
In the wake of the video’s release, there are plans to take the case against the two armed men — Gregory and Travis McMichael — to a grand jury.
“LeBron is the Pied Piper for a lot of athletes,” Whitlock tweeted on Thursday morning as the negative replies mounted. “If the goal is to promote justice for Ahmaud Arbery, LeBron’s rhetoric doesn’t promote justice. It promotes emotion and fear, the enemies of justice. We can continue to promote emotion/fear or we can seek justice.”
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