Cincinnati Bar to Stop Showing NBA Games After LeBron James Tweet on Ma'Khia Bryant Death

A Cincinnati-area bar owner says he will not be playing anymore NBA games until Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expelled from the league over comments he made over a recent police shooting.

Jay Linneman, owner of the West Side Cincinnati bar Linnie's Pub in Delhi Township, confirmed to the Cincinnati Enquirer Friday that TVs in his bar won't play any more NBA games after what he views as the final straw in James' comments about police. Linneman's decision comes after a 16-year-old Black girl, Ma'Khia Bryant, was shot and killed by Columbus, Ohio, police Tuesday afternoon, after authorities responded to a 911 call about someone being threatened.

Quick to draw a conclusion amid initial news reports, James responded in a since-deleted tweet that showed a photograph of the officer allegedly involved in the shooting, "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY." The outspoken NBA superstar went on to delete the tweet and clarify his comment as being about police brutality toward Black Americans more broadly.

"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!" James tweeted Wednesday evening.

But for the Linnie's Pub owner, he says James and other Black Lives Matter-backing celebrities should just avoid discussing social justice issues altogether. Linneman did not mention any of James' massive education and childcare-focused contributions to Ohio communities, particularly in his hometown of Akron.

"If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don't come to Linnie's Pub. We will not air them until Lebron [sic] James has been expelled from the NBA," Linneman said in a Facebook post.

"They just need to play the game and that's it," the bar owner later told the Enquirer. "Their opinion doesn't really matter. They're using their position to push their opinions, and that's just not right."

Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp. 🥴

— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 24, 2021

James responded to news reports of the Ohio bar owner's decision, tweeting Saturday afternoon, "Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp."

Linneman posted a TikTok parody video that appears to show a police officer mockingly calling James for assistance in responding to an in-progress crime. The bar owner also posted a video from right-wing provocateur Candace Owens, which blasted James and other celebrities for offering support to Black Lives Matter—a move she says is a cynical attempt to spark more hatred toward police.

"The media is trying to get Black America to celebrate degeneracy. And they are trying to do this by having various athletes and artists, and glorifying them. And getting them to say statements that direct Black people into a nefarious direction," Owens said in a Thursday video.

"I don't know what Black Lives Matter was ever about, I've always thought it was a fraudulent organization," she continued. "The situation with Ma'Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old who was in the process of trying to stab another Black woman to death, and got shot and killed by police officers, who saved the life of the Black girl who she was trying to kill ... this young lady got stopped in the middle of a crime, in the middle of an attempt at murdering someone."

Linneman added later that if former President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden had made similar knee-jerk remarks in regards to the Bryant shooting, there would be calls for "impeachment." He did not offer a distinction between elected public officials and a professional basketball player.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for James as well as the bar owner for any additional remarks Saturday morning.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers on the bench during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on April 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images