Rachel Nichols deeply disturbed by Antonio Brown’s reaction to LeBron’s interaction with Jeanie Buss

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports’ Rachel Nichols was disturbed by former NFL player Antonio Brown’s reaction to LeBron James and Jeanie Buss’ conversation during the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

James had a conversation with Linda Rambis and Buss during the game, wishing the two a happy International Women’s Day.

However, Brown took the video of the conversation and turned it into something totally different, posting a provocative meme of James on social media.

Nichols did not like how Brown portrayed Buss and Rambis with the photograph, explaining why it’s unfortunate that women in sports have to deal with crude jokes like the one made by Brown.

“I don’t have an issue with most of the jokes that went across the internet,” Nichols said. “Most of them were in bounds. She’s tough. It’s fine. I did, unfortunately, see some out of bounds stuff that was there and just so gross. You had Antonio Brown, of all people, tweeting a photoshopped picture of two women who were naked, who resembled Jeanie and Linda, in bed with LeBron in a compromising position.

“That kind of stuff – this woman is the owner of one of the most successful franchises in the entire world and someone is demeaning her in this way.”

Nichols believes that Buss may have reacted differently if she was given the chance to do things over again. Still, it’s hard to fault Buss for simply thanking James – someone that she has clearly grown close to as a friend since the superstar joined the Lakers franchise.

“She’s got a former Super Bowl champion basically calling her a porno actress,” Nichols said. “I think given that, if Jeanie had to do it over again, she would probably do it differently. If you look at the video, she’s really only there on his shoulder for barely a second.

“It’s kind of a sideways hug, but if it becomes a still photograph it lives forever, right? It becomes a meme. I don’t think in that moment she was hyperconscious of what she was doing, and if she had been, she would have done it differently. But that’s the shame of it, right? Is that women in sports, still have to be hyperconscious of anything.”

James has been with the Lakers for the last six seasons, and there’s no doubt that keeping a good relationship with Buss has helped him remain with the franchise – and happy with his time in Los Angeles.

Plus, with James potentially entering free agency this coming offseason (he has a player option in his contract for the 2024-25 season), Buss and the Lakers want to make sure they remain in James’ good graces to keep him with the team.

Brown’s reaction to James and Buss certainly takes things a little too far, and Nichols felt it was important to show the difference between what men and women face in the world of sports.

Hopefully for Lakers fans, James’ friendship with Buss, and his respect for her, will be a reason that he continues his career in Los Angeles beyond this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.