After facing Covid-19 controversy, LeBron James is all set to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns.
But head on over to NBA twitter and fans have been quick to call out the double standard that the league is displaying in favor of LeBron and the Purple & Gold.
Before the non-suspension was announced, fans were already speculating if the league would put the hammer down on LeBron James.
Fournier, KPJ and LeVert served 14 days
Lebron must too
— Frederick Crujedo (@wayne2kt) May 22, 2021
You can’t just place LeVert in health and safety protocol (which essentially helped end IND season this week) and say you are being consistent by not doing it to Lebron. That’s all I’ll say about it.
— Brit (@britrobotista) May 22, 2021
They’ve seen how the health and safety protocols have been implemented throughout the season and know the procedure when a player violates them. Just ask Caris LeVert, who had to miss the Indiana Pacers two play-in tournament games when he was put in the standard 10-14 day protocol. His Pacers were eliminated at the hands of the Washington Wizards.
But as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league opted not to suspend James. The reason?
“The nature of the event [LeBron James attended] didn’t rise to a threat level of virus spread,” said the report.
LeBron James won't be suspended for protocols violation, sources tell ESPN. Nature of event didn't rise to a threat level of virus spread, as described in @McTen's story below. Suns-Lakers Game 1 on Sunday. https://t.co/nEAcnBsbvv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2021
With the clear double standard being shown by the league, NBA fans flocked to Twitter to react to LeBron James’ preferential treatment over Caris LeVert.
NBA: Caris LeVert has to be out for health and safety protocols
Twitter: What about LeBron, he was out with Drake and others
— Alford Corriette (@alfcorriette) May 22, 2021
Caris LeVert after hearing the Lebron news pic.twitter.com/XX2MKXElmm
— nope. (@iammartin__) May 22, 2021
Caris Levert watching Lebron like: pic.twitter.com/W2u9779k4w
— Anthony Shalaby (@AnthonyShalaby) May 22, 2021
Hmmmm…..Caris Levert & Lebron James comparisons…if Levert had Covid in cam see why he was out. If he didn't have it and had to miss games and Lebron gets to play…well, y'all know pic.twitter.com/oF4E9SFqxA
— Vaccinated Smoothie (@SmoothHoosier) May 22, 2021
Lol all Caris Levert had to do was be Lebron.
This is wild fugazi. pic.twitter.com/x1O29yRpZ0
— Chad Pedro (@ChadPedro) May 22, 2021
So…….Caris Levert had to miss the games for Covid protocol, but Lebron violates it and he’s good? He don’t gotta miss any games? That’s wild
— That’s Game Training (@ChiefKeefer) May 22, 2021
Some fans had a more pragmatic response. They acknowledge that the NBA treated LeBron James differently, but he’s earned the right to be seen as an exception because of his standing as the league’s most important player.
People in the comments mad that caris levert got suspended but Lebron didn’t 😂. I promise you nobody turning the tv on saying “let me see what levert and the pacers gonna do tonight” https://t.co/RvrhMk4OIq
— Derrick (@_Dnett) May 22, 2021
People in the replies. "Now Silver has to prove he'll treat Lebron the same as Caris Levert." and I can't breathe from laughing. No shade to Levert, he's a baller. Seems a good dude. But Lebron ain't ever been Caris Levert.
— Don Jenver↙️↙️↙️ (@TJECS206) May 22, 2021
The logic behind the non-suspension is obvious. James is your biggest draw, and he plays for the Lakers who are the most popular team in the NBA. But LeBron James, as great as he is, clearly violated protocol that would have gotten nearly any other player suspended. It’s fair to say that the NBA dropped the ball here in terms of setting a good example amidst a global pandemic.