Young Thug is standing up for his NBA player friend, Houston Rockets point guard James Harden, who is under fire on social media for wearing a pro-police face covering amid the current fight for racial equality.

On Thursday evening (July 17), an image of Harden was uploaded to Twitter by the Houston Rockets, the team he plays point guard for. In the picture, he is wearing a face covering with a black, white and blue skull on it. The post was captioned, "Mask Up." The NBA star was quickly criticized for wearing the mask because it appears to resemble the "thin blue line" image, which reportedly supports police, is linked to White supremacy and goes against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some people on social media called out Harden for wearing the mask. "Can someone please donate to Harden a 'cool' mask that doesn't symbolize police terrorism," one person tweeted. "Thanks."

There were others, however, who defended the basketball star, claiming he was unaware of the symbolism behind the mask. One of those people was Young Thug.

"Just so u know James harden is my brada...btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US...but I hate when rappers get in niggas biz like it’s can’t happen to em💥 buster let niggas clear they shit up activist," he tweeted just after midnight today (July 17).

Another Twitter user echoed Thug's message. "Anyone who thinks harden knew what that damn mask meant are idiots Face with tears of joy He clearly wore it to look sweet that’s it y’all think way to deep about everything," they wrote.

James Harden later addressed his use of the mask, admitting that he was unaware of the problematic ties linked to the imagery on the face covering.

"Honestly, I wasn't trying to make a political statement," he said, according to CNN. "I wore it because it covered my face, my beard." Harden added, "I thought it looked cool, that was it."

Harden wearing the mask comes weeks after the country has been experiencing civil unrest and nationwide protests following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and countless other Black women and men who have lost their lives due to police brutality.

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