Trump slams LeBron James for ‘racist rants’ after Ohio cop tweet

 Trump slams LeBron James for ‘racist rants’ after Ohio cop tweet

Former President Donald Trump slammed NBA star LeBron James on Thursday for an inflammatory tweet about the Ohio cop who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

“LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA,” Trump said in a statement.

“His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning,” the statement said. “He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”

Akron-born James, 36, drew Trump’s attention after he tweeted a picture of Columbus Police Officer Nicholas Reardon along with the ominous-sounding caption, “YOU’RE NEXT.”

The Los Angeles Lakers star deleted the tweet amid backlash, saying he took the missive down because it was “being used to create more hate.”

LeBron James says he deleted the tweet because it was 'being used to create more hate.'
LeBron James says he deleted the tweet because it was ‘being used to create more hate.’
Twitter

“This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism,” he said, adding he was “so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police.”

“I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY,” he wrote.

His gripe followed an earlier message making clear that despite deleting the incendiary tweet, his “anger still is here for what happened that lil girl,” referring to Bryant, who was shot dead while lunging at another girl with a knife.

Bodycam footage appeared to show Ma'Khia Bryant lunge at another teen with a knife.
Bodycam footage appeared to show Ma’Khia Bryant lunge at another teen with a knife.
Columbus Police Department

“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though!” he wrote.

“My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!” he wrote.

LeBron James faced backlash for the tweet.
LeBron James faced backlash for the tweet.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Reardon was identified Wednesday as the officer who shot Bryant. She later died at a local hospital.