Just last week LeBron James shared a tweet which completely divided the internet.
One police officer responded to LeBron's tweet with a viral TikTok video - which also divided the internet and got him suspended without pay. But now, $200k has been raised for the officer.
Keep scrolling for the full story.
LeBron's tweet was considered problematic by many...
Here's the full story...
Now, this all started when the basketball icon weighed in on the shooting of Ma'Khia.
Earlier this week on April 21st, Columbus police officers were responding to a 911 call when they found the teenager seemingly attempting to stab another girl.
After trying to diffuse the situation, one of the officers, now identified as Officer Nicholas Reardon, opened fire and fatally shot Ma'Khia.
Bodycam footage provided by the police shows an altercation with a group of individuals outside a house...
15 Year-Old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant Fatally shot today by Columbus Division of Police !!!!— Duece Duece ✨ (@DueceDes) April 21, 2021
RIp baby girl 💕🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TfHXKfRo4u
Before one of them - said to be Ma'Khia - appeared to lunge at another member of the group with a knife in hand.
Reardon approached the group in the driveway and shouted "get down" before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.
The officer can be heard saying in the footage, "She had a knife, she just went at her."
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
As soon as the news of Ma'Khai's death broke, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into the events that took place.
Mayor Andrew Ginther on Tuesday told reporters that information will be released as quickly as possible before adding that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
"The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community," he said.
Three white officers say, "blue lives matter" to a group of black residents at the scene where police shot and killed a 15-year-old girl. pic.twitter.com/TGkejEiaho— scott keeler (@_WhatRiot) April 21, 2021
"But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene...
Just moments after #DerekChauvin was given a guilty verdict, protestors have gathered in SE Columbus after a police involved shooting took place involving a teen fatality. I’ll be bringing you more updates so stick with @SpectrumNews1OH. pic.twitter.com/EPmDurfWEP— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@jmuhammadtv) April 20, 2021
Many holding signs saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there's maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating," Thomas-St. Clair said.
Social media has been a total firestorm ever since...
I hope the girl whose life was spared is thankful for officer Reardon being there. He should be lauded as a hero. If my child was saved from being stabbed I would be forever thankful to that officer.🙏— Seattle Centrist (@SeattleCentrist) April 21, 2021
With opinions divided as to whether Officer Reardon was right in his decision to shoot.
And this is where Lebron James comes into the equation.
Making his thoughts on this issue quite clear.
The internet wasn't happy with what he had to say...
LeBron James needs to apologize to the Ohio cop he smeared or if not he should tell us which black life mattered-the girl about to be murdered by a knife in her neck or the girl who was poised to commit the murder despite orders to stop.— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 22, 2021
LeBron James is all about fighting injustice until you bring up China's genocide against the Uighurs and suddenly he has nothing to say.— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) April 22, 2021
A 16-year-old wanted to stab another teenager, law enforcement didn’t let her.— Breanna Morello 🇺🇸 (@breannamorello) April 22, 2021
This makes LeBron James really, really mad.
Imagine being so woke you defend Chinese genocide but target Cops for saving a teenage girls life #LeBronJames— Tina40 (@RealTina40) April 23, 2021
I'll probably be suspended ,but why hasn't Twitter suspended LeBron James for his comments?¿?— T62NJHD (@TNjhd) April 23, 2021
James deleted the "controversial" tweet shortly after posting it, writing in a second post:
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. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
"I'm so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it's being used to create more hate -This isn't about one officer. it's about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY."
Well, despite his explanation, his original tweet was met with a whole load of backlash.
Meghan McCain, co-host of The View, was one of the first to criticize his post, saying that, while she agrees that people of color are treated differently by law enforcement in America, James' social media post was simply fueling more violence.
"No one without 2 brain cells in their head can understand that police tend to treat African-Americans and people of color a different way than they do white people," she said. "But when you have people like LeBron James posting pictures of this police officer before this has been adjudicated and litigated, you're also putting that police officer's life in danger. And I would like killing to stop in this country and violence to stop."
And then, former President Donald Trump waded into the equation.
Trump, who has famously clashed with James for years, issued a formal statement about the now-deleted tweet, where he slammed the basketball player as "racist."
In true Trump fashion, he began by slating his career, writing:
"LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League."
"His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning."
Former President Donald Trump writes of LeBron James, who threatened the Columbus police officer who saved a young woman's life as another young woman tried to stab her. "He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!" pic.twitter.com/2zFUPeHQIX— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 23, 2021
"He may be a great basketball player but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!"
And, here is the tweet in question:
.@KingJames, with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless.— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) April 21, 2021
The officer saved a young girl's life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact. pic.twitter.com/GTHn1VAAlf
As you can see it's caused serious divide.
One police officer responded with a viral video.
BREAKING REPORT: Cincinnati Bar owner Jay Linneman owner of Linnie's Pub WILL REFUSE TO SHOW NBA GAMES until LeBron James is 'expelled' from the NBA..— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) April 24, 2021
DO YOU SUPPORT THIS? 🙋🏽♂️
In the video he mocked LeBron's 'woke' comments.
More specifically he said:
Cincinnati bar won't put on NBA games until LeBron James is 'expelled'— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby Calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@DearAuntCrabby) April 24, 2021
Yeah ... Good luck with that.
"Dispatch, I've arrived at that disturbance. Will you have LeBron call my cellphone right away please? Thank you."
"LeBron, hey, yeah it's me again," Silvester says. "Listen, I'm out here at this disturbance call and there's a guy trying to stab another guy with a knife. What do you think I should do?"
"Okay, well, they're both Black. One guy is trying to stab another guy with a knife," Silvester says. "Deadly force is completely justified."
ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail! 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
"So, you don't care if a Black person kills another Black person—but you do care if a white cop kills a black person, even if he's doing it to save the life of another black person?" "I mean, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but then again, you're really good at basketball so I guess I'll take your word for it."
The video immediately went viral and the police officer, Officer Nate Silvester, was suspended.
His friend started a GoFundMe for Nate, writing:
"Hi, my name is Gannon. The recent viral TikTok video of a cop calling out Lebron James has cost the cop, my best friend in the world, Officer Nate Silvester a suspension without pay. He's still got his job for now, but apparently the town where he polices didn't find his TikTok as amazingly comical, and accurate as the 4.5 million viewers did, including some major news networks. The future is uncertain. I just don't want to see my friend lose out on any money for this, when it was meant to be satirical, and to point out an obvious flaw in Lebron's logic. Please donate what you can contribute. Every dollar helps! Thanks!!"
And right now, over $290,000 has been raised!
And it will only get bigger.