LeBronís 'outburst' not surprising

You probably heard about LeBron James’ now famous “You’re next” tweet from a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard, it’s pretty clear you’ve been living under a rock or something (and I’m surprised I didn’t run into you down there).

For those of you not as media-savvy as the rest of us, it went something like this: Columbus, Ohio, police shot and killed a 16-year-old Black girl who was thought to be attacking other people with a knife.

Keeping in mind that this happened shortly after the Minnesota cop was convicted of murdering George Floyd, James sparked considerable outrage when he posted the photo of the Columbus cop who shot the 16-year-old with the caption of “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” which also included an hourglass emoji, presumably implying that the “clock was ticking” on the Columbus cop getting the same fate as the guy who killed George Floyd.

James used the “#ACCOUNTABILITY” hashtag after the George Floyd verdict was handed down, so many people thought LeBron was extremely premature in his assumption of the Columbus officer’s guilt, while others felt his comments were more than appropriate.

At this point I should probably add that LeBron deleted his post soon after there was an incredibly high level of hate directed his way as a result of this tweet, and he explained his intent was not to incite a reaction such as that which occurred.

I should also make it clear that I know very little about the Columbus killing, so I am in no position to comment about the killing either way; I will leave that up to the courts to decide.

What I do know is that LeBron discovered a long, long time ago that every word he says, and everything he does, in public – and even some in private, is covered and reported by the media. It’s the price of being a celebrity, and of course, he isn’t the only one who has used the media as a vehicle to get his or her message out, and then subsequently had to quickly employ damage control when the response wasn’t as positive as anticipated. (Much like the response I get from my loyal reader(s) when I make an inflammatory statement or two, but we all know I never do that. Just ask the Dolans. Or Jimmy Haslam.)

LeBron reacted emotionally, much like we all do when surprised by something we see or hear, but the difference is that most of us don’t have a bazillion followers whose purpose in life appears to depend on every word we speak.

Can you even begin to picture your life if every word you said was up for scrutiny?

Personally, I kind of enjoy living life in anonymity, where I can say what I want – when I want – and to whomever I want, without fear of getting someone ticked off at me. Besides, I never say anything stupid. Go ahead, ask anyone …

Except for my wife. And my kids. And my grandkids. And my coworkers. And my loyal reader(s).

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:11 AM, 05.18.2021