The NBA on ESPN Twitter account tweeted out video of the pregame festivities at Staples Center before the season-opening Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers game.
In the video, Lakers star LeBron James is seen screaming, “Let’s go,” to the crowd in the closing seconds of the national anthem.
Sounds pretty innocuous right?
So innocuous that the ESPN account tweeted the video with the caption: “LeBron is READY.”
That little video created a social media firestorm and backlash from a predictable portion of sports fans.
You know the type. Those “so-called” patriotis. Those flag-waving, convenient believers in democracy. Those American exceptionalists.
The comments in reaction to LeBron’s “disrespect” of the anthem were steeped in all the ills and isms this nation was founded on.
Criticism also veered into geopolitics, with Twitter users remarking that if it was the Chinese national anthem, LeBron would have been standing at attention.
Of course that criticism is linked to LeBron’s comments about Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protesters against the mainland Chinese government.
Twitter, and social media more broadly, is a place for “hot takes,” “what aboutisms” and circular arguments.
Still, they reflect a portion of this country and how some of our fellow Americans think.
(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)