During Game Five of the NBA Finals, LeBron James, who was sitting between the Bucks and the Suns, was pictured in a blue face mask, his nose uncovered. However, he sparked internet fury because of something else.
Posting a picture showing LeBron with a bottle of tequila under his seat, sports commentator Joe Pompaliano tweeted: "They let LeBron bring his own bottle of tequila into the arena tonight," adding a bunch of laughing-crying emojis.
LeBron retweeted Pompliano's tweet, complete with his own caption: "They let me??? Ok we’ll go with that! ‘BYOT’ Bring Your Own Tequila!"
A number of Twitter users took offense that LeBron was mocking the situation and the privilege he seemed to be enjoying, sparking criticism that LeBron’s status and fame was letting him get away with a stunt that would have seen a regular person stopped at the entrance. Others stated that someone who would have managed to sneak liquor in would have gotten arrested, and slammed LeBron for flaunting his privilege.
One person pointed out that the bottle of tequila was from the star’s own brand, Lobos 1707 Tequila, writing: "So Lebron got a contract to serve his tequila at the stadium. Good business move. In the US if you’re rich and famous, it’s just so much easier to do anything you want. Regular people have to grind for a lifetime to hope for a deal like that. I wonder how the tequila tastes?"
Another commenter compared LeBron to NBA champ Michael Jordan, writing: "jordan would never drink. shame on you lebron! my kids looked up to you."
Other slammed the special treatment LeBron seemed to enjoy, with one person writing: "Ridiculous double standard. Anyone else would be arrested for bringing their own liquor/ glass bottle in. And nice wide stance to infringe upon that ladies personal space next to him. Always all class, Bron…"
Another person stated: "I don't care what it is. If LeBron gets to BYOB, everyone should. Tired of the special treatment stuff that goes on in this country and folks trying to make sure you buy their extremely overpriced refreshments. This stuff ain't capitalism."
Others slammed those who were supporting LeBron’s stunt, with one person stating: "Stop licking his shoes. If anybody else did it it would be judged, but since its a publicity stunt by @KingJames its all acceptable."
One person took the chance to slam LeBron for passing up on the Olympics: "Too busy creating substandard tequila to represent his Country at the Olympics."