LeBron James Needs To Man Up

During the height of the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, LeBron James encouraged his 100 million followers on social media to mock the teenage defendant’s emotional outburst as he recalled the savage mob chasing him down to kill him on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin. James’ ridicule of a young man on trial for his life was met with a torrent of online criticism. Comments included that James is: a phony (being the NBA’s biggest whiner and flopper), a coward, an immature person, a hypocrite who gets rich off the backs of Chinese Uyghur Muslim slave labor, an injury faker, and a racist.

Many wouldn’t argue with any of these, but they missed the main point. LeBron James needs to hold himself accountable—both as the social justice leader he claims to be and as a man—for his role in instigating the violence that led to the tragedy in August of last year.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot in Kenosha, was inflamed by leftist elites including James, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Benjamin Crump, and the ruling class media—who peddled a pack of lies about the police shooting of Jacob Blake. They falsely claimed that Blake was an innocent, unarmed, black man who was trying to break up a disturbance, and who was shot for no reason by racist white cops. 

These lies put in motion the violence and BLM-supporting, white, criminal, psychopaths who chased down a then 17-year-old Rittenhouse in the street. To save his own life, Rittenhouse was forced to shoot and kill two of his assailants—one, a racist pedophile and convicted child rapist who grabbed the barrel of Kyle’s rifle and a second who was bashing his head with a skateboard. Rittenhouse also shot and wounded a third attacker who was pointing a loaded pistol at his head. 

After his arrest, a similar deluge of lies was unleashed on Kyle Rittenhouse. The elites falsely claimed that Rittenhouse was a white supremacist, a domestic terrorist, that he chased the child rapist, and that he had “crossed state lines with a firearm.” These lies continue to be told, even after evidence refuted all of them. 

Let’s review how we got here. 

On August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake was wanted on an arrest warrant for a horrific sexual assault of the young black mother of his children. The victim reported to police that Blake had broken into her home, raped her while she lay in bed next to one of her children, and then stole her car keys before leaving. The woman obtained a protective order on Blake. She called 911 when he returned to her home in violation of the court order. 

An independent report revealed that police officers responded and attempted to place Blake in custody. He refused to comply, resisted arrest, and, after being tased twice, attacked the officers—placing one in a headlock while armed with a knife (the possession of which he later admitted to). Blake refused repeated commands to drop the knife. Trying to flee, Blake attempted to enter a vehicle in which he had already placed one of his children. Faced with an imminent threat to the lives of both the children and police, one officer justifiably used deadly force and shot Blake. 

As Black Lives Matter and Antifa swung into action and the riot kicked off, the messaging by LeBron James and others whipped up the violence. Making no effort to obtain or report facts, the media immediately ran with the concocted story that Blake was an innocent black man targeted by racist police. The most incendiary incitement to violence of all was made by LeBron James himself. Singling out the white Kenosha police officer who shot Blake, James said, “…you don’t know…how that cop that day left the house…if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed…Maybe he left the house saying that today is going to be the end for one of these black people…” LeBron James had poured gasoline on the fire, and it was on. Kenosha burned and people died. Fully aware that all their claims were false, neither James nor any other of the instigators ever acknowledged his role and responsibility in the violence by admitting to his lies. 

The deadly Kenosha insurrection was engineered by Black Lives Matter Marxists and Antifa anarchists, whose stated goals are to destroy and overthrow American civilization. The flames and chaos were fanned by the media, Democratic politicians, and celebrities led by LeBron James. The rule of law was abandoned with the disgraceful failure of the governor, mayor, and chief of police to uphold their duty to protect lives and property—handing Kenosha over to a lawless mob. This was the deadly situation that a 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse found himself in when he took upon himself a man’s responsibility to do the job that government and police leaders had abdicated—to help people and protect property. 

Of course, the case should never have been brought to trial. The jury and all fair-minded people who watched the videos and followed the testimony saw with their own eyes that this was a textbook case of self-defense. Kyle Rittenhouse was completely justified in shooting the three criminals who tried to kill him. 

LeBron James revels in his celebrity status as a self-anointed social justice leader. But justice must be based upon truth and with status should also come accountability. His lies helped instigate the Kenosha riots. He made a point of mocking Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager unjustly put on trial for murder. Rittenhouse’s actions are a direct result of the violence James’ lies helped create. James has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull our country together and help make things right. It’s time to Man Up. LeBron James should lead by example and finally do the right thing—acknowledge his falsehoods and humbly ask Kyle Rittenhouse and the citizens of Kenosha for forgiveness. Because that’s what men do.

About Maurice Richards

Maurice Richards is the former chief of the Martinsburg Police Department in West Virginia. He served as chief from 2015 to 2020 after a 24-year career in the Chicago Police Department. Richards holds a doctorate in adult education from Northern Illinois University. His writing has been featured in Human Events, The Federalist, The Hill, and The Daily Caller

Photo: Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

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