Amid a recent boycott of Space Jam 2 due to a controversial tweet by LeBron James, an Ohio bar has made headlines after banning NBA games from the establishment completely until King James is "expelled" from the league. Catching wind of the ban, James has since offered a direct response on Twitter.
This all began last week when LeBron James weighed in on the controversial police shooting of a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio. Posting an image of the officer identified as the person who fired the fatal shot, James wrote in the now-deleted tweet, "YOU'RE NEXT." The post was widely criticized and even spawned a movement on social media to boycott Space Jam 2 when it is released in theaters this summer.
One of LeBron's biggest critics is Jay Linneman, who owns and runs the Cincinnati bar Linnie's Pub. Taking exception to James' comments, Linneman decided to stop playing NBA games at his bar unless James is sent packing by the NBA. In a viral Facebook post, Linneman made it clear that anyone trying to catch a pro basketball game while having a drink will need to find another bar to patron in the West Cincinnati area.
"If anyone wants to watch an NBA game, don't come to Linnie's Pub," Linneman's Facebook post read. "We will not air them until LeBron James has been expelled from the NBA."
Later speaking about the ban with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Linneman stressed that he is getting "tired of all athletes' statements." He also said that if the tweet came from a high-ranking government official, such as former President Donald Trump or current President Joe Biden, there would be calls for "impeachment." The bar owner argues that NBA stars and other athletes need to keep their opinions to themselves and focus only on playing their respective sports.
"They just need to play the game and that's it," he said. "Their opinion doesn't really matter. They're using their position to push their opinions, and that's just not right."
News of the NBA getting yanked from the screens at Linnie's Pub went viral, eventually making its way to LeBron himself. Directly responding to a news report documenting the ban, James wrote on Twitter on Saturday: "Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp."
He won't be showing up on the small screens at Linnie's Pub, but LeBron James will be hitting the big screen this summer. Starring James as himself, the upcoming sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy features the NBA star teaming up with Bugs Bunny and the cast of Looney Tunes for the game of his life. One character who won't be on the team this time around is cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew, who was axed from the movie in another controversy surrounding Space Jam 2.
As James will reportedly return to playing next following after recovering from an ankle injury, it doesn't appear that the NBA will expel LeBron to appease Linneman. Despite the Twitter boycott, LeBron's movie Space Jam 2: A New Legacy is also still on track to be released in theaters and on HBO Max on July 16. This news comes to us from The Cincinnati Enquirer.