Disgraced former NFL star O.J. Simpson is offering LeBron James some unsolicited advice after the NBA star shared and later deleted a Twitter post speaking out against the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant earlier this week. Many critics claimed James’ post incited violence against the officer.
On Thursday, April 22, the former Buffalo Bills running back posted a nearly two-minute video clip in which he took issue with the Lakers forward’s tweet — “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY” — although he admitted to being a fan and an admirer of the work James has done and “how he’s helped his community and how he’s helped his friends and how he’s been fighting all of these social issues especially that of systemic racism in the legal system with the police departments around our country.”
However, Simpson soon quickly tells James, “you can’t fight every battle.” He added, “You gotta pick your battles. It’s a war that must be fought, but sometimes you need to take your time and be a little more patient before you comment on some of these bad incidents that are happening with these police departments.”
The 73-year-old believes that in this instance James, who has been very vocal about police brutality and other social justice issues over the years, “should’ve waited.”
The once double murder suspect then went on to blame the media for editing information surrounding the series of events that led to Bryant’s death to make it appear to be “another police officer overreacting and killing a young Black American.”
Simpson said once he saw the complete footage he felt “the police guy no choice, he responded.” “We wish he could have pulled a Taser, we wish he could have done it in another way, but in that instance, if he hadn’t done what he did, it appears to me that another young American would have had her life taken,” he continued. Simpson — almost as if he has some insight about how quickly an attacker can stab someone to death — said he didn’t fault officer Nicholas Reardon, who was later identified as the cop who shot Bryant.
Simpson concluded his statement by saying he disagreed with the notion of defunding the police but wants funds to be reallocated to better training. He advised James to keep “fighting the fighting” and later restated that folks should be more patient.
As previously reported, James shared and later deleted a post on Wednesday, April 21, in which he shared a photo of Reardon with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” along with an hourglass emoji. The post came one day following Bryant’s killing. Later that Wednesday evening, James explained why he removed the post, writing, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer.” He added, “It’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
James has not yet addressed Simpson’s criticism.