CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020, took the stand in his own trial.
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At one point during his testimony, Rittenhouse broke down sobbing -- an emotional outburst that some questioned the authenticity of.
Among those to claim that Rittenhouse's viral breakdown might have been an act was NBA superstar LeBron James. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday night, the four-time MVP mocked Rittenhouse's testimony, asking "what tears?" while accusing the 18-year-old of putting on a performance during his testimony.
"What tears????? I didn’t see one," the Los Angeles Lakers forward wrote. "Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court."
The reaction to James' post underscored the polarizing nature of Rittenhouse's trial, in which the Illinois teenager has claimed he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber during the protests that occurred after a white police officer shot and injured a Black man named Jacob Blake. While many showed support and agreement with James' post, others have been quick to criticize the 17-time All-Star, deeming his social media post to be insenstitive.
This isn't the first time James has found himself at the center of controversy for weighing in on an emotionally charged newsstory. After former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd earlier this year, James posted a picture of Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon, who shot fatally shot 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant as she was swinging a knife at another girl during an altercation.
"YOU'RE NEXT #Accountability," James wrote.
James later deleted the post, stating that he had "fueled the wrong conversation" about Bryant's death.