Jason Whitlock isn’t pleased with LeBron James and his latest show of online activism.
The Speak for Yourself host shot back after James tweeted his outrage at the killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Video released this week showing a pair of men stopping Arbery as he ran through a neighborhood in the coastal community of Brunswick, leading to a confrontation and a shooting that left him dead. Many activists believed there was a racial component as to why the two white men had not been charged for the killing of the black jogger in the months since the incident took place, and why police initially said the suspects were acting in self-defense.
James shared his anger at the incident, taking to Twitter on Wednesday night to say the incident shows that black men are not safe anywhere in America.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” James wrote. “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 apparently did not agree, responding to James on Twitter and saying that the Los Angeles Lakers star’s words were not helpful. He appeared to accuse the four-time NBA MVP of speaking out only to help craft an image of himself as a social activist.
“It’s twitter trolling,” Whitlock wrote. “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 sh*t-stirring.”
As the New York Post noted, many teammates and fellow NBA players defended James and accused Whitlock of only trying to generate controversy. Former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kendrick Perkins praised James for using his platform to speak out about the tragedy. But Whitlock responded by saying that the tweet from James isn’t helping bring justice for Arbery, but rather only promoting emotion and fear, which he said were “enemies of justice.”
A number of other politicians and celebrities spoke out after the video of the fatal shooting emerged this week, including former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The men involved in Arbery’s fatal shooting were arrested on Thursday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and a third person who filmed a video of the incident is reportedly under investigation as well.