FOX Sports host Jason Whitlock has accused LeBron James of using Ahmaud Arbery's death to build his brand.
Arbery was shot and killed while out jogging near his home in Georgia, and two white men – one a former cop – have now been charged with his murder.
James addressed the killing, which happened on February 23, in a Twitter post he wrote on Wednesday night.
"We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!", he 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."
But the Fox host told James, again via Twitter: "This isn't helpful."
"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 shit-stirring."
“You sure you’re not trolling and making it about you?,"James’ former Cavaliers teammate Kendrick Perkins wrote to defend James.
"He’s using his platform to speak out on a tragedy and you making it about him and MJ. Do better big bro!”
But Whitlock stuck by his initial words.
“LeBron is the Pied Piper for a lot of athletes,” Whitlock he tweeted on Thursday. “If the goal is to promote justice for Ahmaud Arbery, LeBron’s rhetoric doesn’t promote justice. It promotes emotion and fear, the enemies of justice. We can continue to promote emotion/fear or we can seek justice.”
The investigation into the killing of Arbery, which took place on February 23, appeared stalled by local authorities until this week, when a video of the shooting was leaked and shared widely on social media, prompting outrage around the nation.
President Donald Trump today called the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man in the US state of Georgia, a "very disturbing situation".
"My heart goes out to the parents and the family and friends," Mr Trump told Fox News.
It came after officers armed with assault rifles arrested and cuffed Gregory and his son Travis McMichael, 34, at their $280,000 two-bed property in Brunswick, Georgia.
Gregory — a former Glynn County cop — and Travis were both charged with murder and aggravated assault in Arbery’s killing.
The McMichaels made their first court appearance this afternoon via a video link from inside the Glynn County jail.
A judge ruled that bond on both charges would have to be set by a superior court judge.
Both were read their rights but only said “yes” to their name.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Gregory had investigated Arbery before when he worked as an investigator in the Brunswick DA's office.
Gregory, who retired in 2019, had not mentioned his involvement in the case to police.
The newspaper also reported allegations that two Glynn County commissioners claim District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office refused to allow the Glynn County Police Department to make arrests immediately after the killing.
'She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael,' Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker alleged.
Commissioner Peter Murphy alleged officers at the scene concluded they had probable cause to make arrests.
But he claimed: “They were told not to make the arrest.”
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