LeBron James Dec 10, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; LeBron James was to his curtsied seats as his son USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) sands with teammates before the start of a game against the Long Beach State 49ers at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As LeBron James was scrutinized for seemingly disrespecting the national anthem, the reporter who filmed the incident came to his defense.

James attended a USC game last weekend to watch his son Bronny make his NCAA basketball debut during the Trojans 84-79 loss to Long Beach State. As is typical with LeBron, a video of him attending his son’s game garnered social media attention. But this one went viral for the wrong reasons.

The now controversial video shows James walking to his seat during the national anthem. While everyone else in view was standing for the performance, the Los Angeles Lakers star took his seat.

Naturally, some media outlets have relished the opportunity to call James out for taking a seat. That prompted the reporter who captured the video to weigh in.

“As the reporter who took this video, this is gross and completely mischaracterizes the situation,” reporter Luca Evans said of the criticism being directed at James. “LeBron has done this for YEARS in Bronny’s time at Sierra Canyon. It’s objectively the best time to walk in so he doesn’t cause a massive stir. Stop it.”

If you’re a person who gets easily offended by what other people do during the national anthem, you’re probably not going to be satisfied with the above defense. James walking in during the anthem to avoid stealing the attention away from the game is plausible, but it doesn’t explain why he abruptly sat down.

Maybe it wasn’t Evans’ intention to see the NBA star get put on blast for walking to his seat during the national anthem. But a reporter had to know there was a good chance of LeBron’s critics running with the video in this direction.

Similarly, James has to know taking a seat during the national anthem in front of thousands of people is going to garner criticism. Unfortunately for James, he isn’t afforded the same level of anonymity as the other fans who were at the game walking, talking, buying a beer or sitting on a toilet during the national anthem.

[Luca Evans]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com