The murder of Tyre Nichols by several Memphis police officers has captured the attention of the U.S., and Ciara didn’t like what a particular sports journalist had to say. Earlier this month, 29-year-old Nichols was pulled over for a traffic stop. The incident escalated, and he was pulled from his vehicle, pepper sprayed, and tased by a group of officers.
He managed to run from the ordeal, but he was tracked down, held against his will, and beaten. Three days later, he succumbed to his injuries. The City of Memphis released four videos showing the development of the encounter. In one clip, Nichols is seen being held down on the ground as a cop kicks him in the head. Another takes out a baton and beats him. Later, Nichols is also held up by several officers as he’s repeatedly punched. While on the ground, the man cried out for his mother.
The outrage was swift, and commentator Jason Whitlock chimed in with his takeaways.
“There is a racial element. And this is a story about young Black men and their inability to treat each other in a humane way,” Whitlock said. “Everybody involved in this on the street level was either 24 to 32 years old. Everybody. It was a group of young Black men, five-on-one. Looked like gang violence to me.”
Then, he shifted the blame.
“It looked like what young Black men do when they’re supervised by a single Black woman.”
Ciara caught wind of the hot take and didn’t like what she saw.
The singer tweeted, “.@WhitlockJason As a black man to get on national tv and say something like this is irresponsible.”
“A lot of amazing kids have come from single mothers,” she further stated. For you to also undermine single black women in the midst of this tragedy is so sad. This woman just lost her son! Do better!”
Ciara gained wide support for her reaction, but Whitlock returned to only double down on his initial remarks.
“Appreciate the feedback, Ciara,” he said. “But at some point, we are going to have to deal with the negative impact of baby-mama culture. It’s destructive and unsustainable. Come up out of the denial. Denial won’t fix the problem. Thanks.”
Whitlock continues to defend that “baby mama culture” is to blame for violence within the Black community. Meanwhile, a sixth officer has been relieved of duty in connection with the Nichols case.
It was reported that Preston Hemphill was also involved in the beating of the 29-year-old. He has not been arrested at the time of this publication.
Check out a few reactions to Ciara and Whitlock’s exchange below.