After Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called out Lakers superstar LeBron James on Monday (Sept. 14) urging him to match the $175,000 reward money being offered for information on the weekend ambush shooting that left two deputies shot in the head on Sept. 12 in Compton, he was met with heated critiques.
Villanueva expressed that he wanted James to step up. “We need to appreciate that respect for life goes across professions, across races, creeds, and I'd like to see LeBron James step up to the plate and double that," he said in an interview with KABC Radio.
Shannon Sharpe, the co-host of ESPN’s “Undisputed” is one of the latest to blast Villanueva for his request, posting his comments on Twitter on Sept. 15. The NFL Hall of Famer chimed in calling out the sheriff and eight deputies for reportedly leaking photos of the late Kobe Bryant’s helicopter accident on Jan.26 and then allegedly covering up the incident.
“I challenge him to fire the officers that shared the photos of Kobe’s accident, but he and his dept tried to cover it up,” Sharpe wrote.
Sharpe’s comment follows journalist and podcast host Jemele Hill who set Twitter ablaze when she shared her thoughts on Villanueva’s unorthodox message saying the sheriff “shouldn’t be using the cold-blooded murder of two officers to bully a celebrity and further a bad narrative that demanding police accountability means you sanction violence against the police.”
CBS News reports that an unidentified man walked up to the passenger’s side of a parked police car in Compton on Sept. 12, ambushing two deputies inside, firing multiple rounds. Both deputies were hit in the head and critically wounded but are expected to recover.
Villanueva confirmed that two individuals donated $75,000 in addition to the $100,000 offered by the county.
LeBron James has yet to respond to Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s request.
(Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage and by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)