Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has been a controversial figure of late, following a photo of him wearing a mask with a rather contentious design made its rounds on the internet. Thankfully for him, Atlanta-based rapper Young Thug came to the defense of the embattled Rockets guard.

Before anything else, here's the aforementioned photo of Harden:


The mask he is wearing has been associated with the “Blue Lives Matter” movement, which according to Wikipedia, “is a countermovement in the United States advocating that those who are prosecuted and convicted of killing law enforcement officers should be sentenced under hate crime statutes.”

For some folks, James Harden's decision to wear this particular mask promotes violence against the authorities.

For his part, Young Thug claims that this was an honest mistake from Harden, who he believes probably had no clue about what his mask represents.

Perhaps people are just overreacting to a simple misunderstanding here. After all, both the NBA and the Rockets official Twitter account shared the photo, so it is likely that they too were not well aware of the misconstrued message the image would have invoked.

Then again, we can't let Harden get off the hook that easy. At the end of the day, it is his responsibility to make himself aware of the goings-on in the socio-political sphere, especially considering how he is considered by many as a role model.

If it's true that the mask is indeed associated with the “Blue Lives Matter” movement, and Harden simply did not know, ignorance is still no excuse for him.