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Source: Kevin C. Cox / Getty

Whether knowingly being provocative or not, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was being criticized on social media after the NBA champion took to Twitter on Sunday to openly offer his support for an NFL quarterback who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women.

Perhaps even more inexplicable, James’ tweet cheering for Deshaun Watson came as the Cleveland Browns player was being ripped on social media for having a bad game.

But it was James’ choice of wording in his tweet that provided a double whammy in addition to the sentiment of rooting for a man named in 24 lawsuits replete with accusations of sexual harassment and assault during what were supposed to be massage therapy sessions.

“Yessir D Watson!! Another one,” James posted before punctuating his tweet with what critics saw as a double entendre: “That boy getting his rhythm back!”

Critics wanted James to continue that thought — “back” from what, they implied through their responses alluding to Watson’s punishment by the NFL.

Watson recently returned from an 11-game suspension because of the allegations, having privately settled 22 of the lawsuits after two grand juries declined to bring criminal charges against him. He played his fourth game of the season on Sunday.

But in the court of public opinion, Watson has been overwhelmingly found guilty, if the responses to James’ tweet were any indication.

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after his team’s 13-3 victory against Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio. | Source: Jason Miller / Getty

Some of James’ more than 52 million followers on Twitter thought his account was hacked, while others chose to outright admonish him for what they saw as a weird hill to die on.

One Twitter user encouraged James’ wife to take action: “savannah take his phone away i beg.”

Others implored James to delete the tweet.

Others pointed out the apparent irony in James cheering for an alleged sexual harasser and assaulter after having recently criticized the media for “especially” holding Black athletes accountable for their words and actions.

But there is also the fact that Watson, by all means, was not actually having a very good game at all.

Warren Sapp, a four-time All-Pro retired NFL star, tweeted his thoughts on Watson’s play on Sunday about an hour before James cheer-tweeted for the quarterback.

“Deshaun Watson is horrible,” Sapp tweeted before providing the basis for his post: “he’s 3-of-8 for 23 yards, 2.9 YPA and 4 sacks.”

Others tweeted the below clip of Watson’s not-so-stellar play on Sunday.

Perhaps James’ is simply guilty of blindly cheering for his home team, as sports fans are so often wont to do.

After all, despite all of the above, the Browns beat the Washington Commanders 24-10.

Watson also apparently had a great game.

Go figure.

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