LeBron James shows support for Terrence Shannon Jr. after rape acquittal

LeBron James shows support for Terrence Shannon Jr. after rape acquittal

LeBron James voiced his support for former University of Illinois men’s basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. following Shannon’s acquittal of rape charges.

James expressed pride in a tweet aimed at Shannon’s fight for justice.

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“The apologies should be 30X louder than the hate he got but we know how it goes,” James tweeted.”

“Anyways back to the regularly scheduled program. Great days ahead.”

James also labelled Shannon as his ‘Young King’ in an unprecedented level of support for a young man who feared his potential NBA career had been taken away from him.

How did the acquittal come about?

On Thursday, a Lawrence, Kansas jury found Shannon Jr. not guilty of rape and aggravated sexual battery, after deliberating for more than 90 minutes, according to Mitch Gilfillan of Quinn Johnston Law.

The basketball community, including former teammate Coleman Hawkins and head coach Brad Underwood, lauded Shannon’s acquittal.

Shannon was initially suspended by the University of Illinois on December 28 after a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Douglas County District Attorney in Kansas.

He was accused of rape following a visit to a bar after the Illinois vs. Kansas football game on September 8 in Lawrence. The 23-year-old missed six games due to his suspension but was reinstated after suing the school and obtaining a temporary restraining order.

It was an interesting measure at the time, with many accused athletes often being forced to stay away from their teams, yet this legal victory actually set the stage for Shannon’s acquittal.

Shannon returned to the court on January 21 against Rutgers, scoring 16 points in 28 minutes. Two days later, he played his first road game at Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena, where he faced boos and chants of “No means no.”

Similar reactions followed him in away games throughout the 2023-24 season.

Now cleared of the charges, Shannon is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, which begins on June 26.

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