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Terry Crews slammed for suggesting Black Lives Matter could morph into 'Black Lives Better'

"I have family of every race, creed and ideology," Crews tweeted Tuesday morning. "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter."
Image: Terry Crews, Today - Season 69
Terry Crews appears on NBC's "TODAY" show in New York on Jan. 23, 2020.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Actor Terry Crews was slammed Tuesday over a tweet about the Black Lives Matter movement.

"If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology," Crews tweeted Tuesday morning. "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter."

The tweet drew a response from Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter, Bernice King, who said, "Justice is not a competition."

"We're so far from that bridge, Terry. #BlackLivesMatter is, in part, a rallying cry and a protest slogan to galvanize people into doing the justice work needed to derail the deaths, dehumanization and destruction of Black lives that racism causes," she tweeted.

Political commentator Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, tweeted: "In 1883, the Supreme Court claimed that a Civil Rights Act would make Black people 'the special favorite of the laws.' In 2020, Terry Crews warned that #BlackLivesMatter will morph into #blacklivesbetter."

"Demanding Black equality is not Black supremacy," Boykin said in his tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, Boykin said he meant to use the word "could" instead of "would" and that he has been to dozens of Black Lives Matter protests and has never heard anyone even suggest it means "Black Lives Better."

Michael Harriot, a writer for The Root, wrote: "Black people: We’re starving! Terry Crews: But what about those who have more than enough food? We must ensure their bellies remain full!"

Harriot added: "Say what you will about @terrycrews but you have to admire his dedication to centering whiteness. Ok... Maybe you don’t HAVE TO."

Later Tuesday, Crews replied to King's tweet.

"You are right, @BerniceKing," he wrote. "I just want to make sure it stays that way. No competition, just creativity. #blacklivesmatter"

NBC News reached out to Crews for a response to the backlash. Representatives for the actor said, "Terry previously commented on this and we will not be making any additional comments."

In January, Crews apologized to Gabrielle Union after he was accused of invalidating her claims of racism on the set of "America's Got Talent."

During an appearance on NBC's "TODAY" show, Crews, who hosts "America's Got Talent," was asked about Union's allegations, specifically, whether there was a toxic atmosphere on set.

"I can't speak for sexism because I'm not a woman, but I can speak on any racism comments," Crews said. "That was never my experience. In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment."

His remarks were met with swift backlash, including from many who noted that Union was among the celebrities who publicly expressed support for Crews when he revealed in 2017 that a "high-level Hollywood executive" had groped him at an industry party in 2016.

Afterward, Crews addressed Union in a series of tweets.

"I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience — but that is what I did," Crews tweeted on Jan. 31. "I apologize. You have been through a lot in this business, and with that I empathize with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace."

Crews said Union is "a role model to the entire black community" and that in his desire to be "professionally neutral," he should have, at the very least, understood she just needed his support.