LeBron James: ‘Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day’

Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony 2016

Tonight is Game 1 of the NBA Finals. We’re getting Warriors versus Cavs for the third year in a row. Which means we’re getting Steph Curry versus LeBron James. I’m Team LeBron. Curry leaves me cold, mostly because I’m so contrarian, and I feel like the Respectability Politics Police have demanded that we all worship at the altar of “respectable” Steph Curry. I’m not into it. LeBron is my guy. People who don’t even care about basketball know LeBron. They know what he stands for, they know what kind of man he is and they know that he’s justifiably admired and beloved by his peers, the fans, the people of Cleveland and beyond. Apparently you can’t be one of the most successful black men of all time without someone trying to “put you in your place” though. Which is what happened:

An L.A. home owned by LeBron James was the target of a hate crime — someone spray painted the n-word on the front gate and detectives are now investigating, cops tell TMZ Sports.

Here’s what we know … multiple LAPD units and a neighborhood patrol vehicle responded to the home early Wednesday morning. We’re told the word was scrawled on the outer gate. We’re told investigators are looking for security footage from neighbors which may show the perpetrator.

Records show LeBron bought the house back in 2015 but it does not appear he lives there on any regular basis. The graffiti has since been covered up. We’re told LeBron was not at the home at the time of the incident — he’s presumably in the Bay Area gearing up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which starts Thursday.

[From TMZ]

LeBron was doing media late yesterday in California, ahead of Game 1, and he spoke about the hate crime and what it means, saying:

“As I sit here on the eve of one of the greatest sporting events that we have in sports, race and what’s going on (in America) comes again. If this is to shed a light and to keep the conversation going on my behalf then I’m OK with it. My family is safe and that’s the most important thing. It just goes to show racism will always be part of the world, part of America. Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We have a long way to go … until we feel equal.”

[Via USA Today]

Word. I’m sure there are people who want to believe that this is just an isolated incident and make the argument that it was just one bad apple, or whatever. Ask African-Americans if they really feel like they’re being victimized by one-offs, the one “bad apple,” the outliers in society. Then listen to what they have to say.

James Corden and NBA star LeBron James filming in downtown Los Angeles

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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64 Responses to “LeBron James: ‘Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day’”

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  1. Nancy says:

    LeBron is the GOAT. He represents my city with pride and I adore him and what he stands for. He is a man of honor and to think some piece of garbage defaced his home is sickening. I hope they find him and hang him by his toes. For LeBron to have to address his color in 2017 just doesn’t seem possible, but he is right, racism and hate in America is alive and well. The Cavs are the underdogs, just like last year when they won. Another win would be great for the city, but I fervently hope they win for LeBron, who represents more than an outstanding, unbelievable athlete, but a great human being. Go Cavs!

    • Jenni says:

      The hatred in the States is terrible but it is present in every nation on this planet. Do Americans always have to act like they’re the only country, even with their bigotry and BS? Lots of racist trolls in Canada, of every race.

      • Kitten says:

        Huh…interesting take considering how often we see people from other countries on this board claiming that racism is solely an American thing and their country doesn’t have that problem.

      • ElleC says:

        I think the reason why people focus so much on what’s happening in the US (and perhaps the UK and some countries in Europe at the moment) is that racism is being politically legitimized and weaponized in ways many were lulled to believe were no longer possible. What were once dog whistles have become brazen attacks.

        But people are playing themselves if they think the same weeds don’t grow in their own backyards, and we could all do a better job uprooting racism closer to home.

      • Ziki Fly says:

        I don’t really understand how this is acting like America is the only country. This happened to an extremely talented American athlete in an American city, and the poster is referencing that. She’s not saying there is no racism in any other country, just that this is an example of racism in America. If she used this example to talk about, say, racism in Canada, I am sure a bunch of people would jump in and say how rude that was.

      • Rosalee says:

        Sorry to burst the illusion of Canada being racism free right now we are hearing testimony from families during hearings for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In Thunder Bay 7 young Aboriginal people over a short span of time were found drowned in a river and a witnesse are come forward to say years ago she called the police to tell them men tossed a young man over the bridge into the water..I know the Executive Director of a Muslim non-profit deals with death threats and vulgar messages every single day…a man who murdered Aboriginal women said he thought he’d get away with it because they were Aboriginal. I hate my new town..when I walk down the street people give me dirty looks or stare at me because we wanted to live in a nice community, because we wanted waterfront property we moved to this community under the mistaken belief it is 2017 – if LeBron, Venus and Serena Williams can’t get respect who the hell can? By the way ask why hockey great P.K. Subbian why he was traded to Nashville from Montreal..sorry but I’m sick simply exhausted with dealing with racism..I just want to be normal whatever the hell normal is…

      • El Bob says:

        I’m pretty sure that “But everyone else is doing it!” still doesn’t cut it as an excuse.

  2. astrid says:

    Total respect for LeBron. Can’t say I’ve ever watched an entire basketball game in my life and even I know about the awesomeness he is in real life.

  3. Justjj says:

    Go Cavs! I’m team LeBron too. He speaks the truth. Durant is a deserter and Steph Curry always has a mouthguard gnawing smug face so I really hope the Cavs do it again.

    • Nancy says:

      Lol…..last year poor Steph had a little tantrum on the court and spit out his pacie, or mouthguard as he calls it, and it hit a fan. Oh he was in all kinds of trouble. The odds are in the favor of the Warriors, thanks to that guy, what’s his name….Kevin Durant…..but this is LeBron’s seventh playoff in a row and he makes things happen. Can’t wait for tonight, win or lose, love my Cavs!!

      • Brandy Alexander says:

        Nancy, it’s his 7th finals! I don’t think he’s missed a playoff since about his 2nd or 3rd year in the league!! (I moved from Cleveland the year AFTER they drafted him, so can’t remember how long it took them to turn it around after getting him)

        I have to admit, I hated him for a minute when he went to Miami (in a I don’t want you to win championships for some other team kind of way), but he really did grow as a person during that time. I believe him now when he said he needed the time away as a college experience. He just seems like an outstanding person now.

      • Justjj says:

        I remember that! KD walked out on OKC and didn’t even make us breakfast. It still hurts. We’ve moved on with Russell but KD used to call us on his cellphone.

      • Nancy says:

        Brandy Alexander, I really want a brandy alexander right now! Yes I was disappointed when Bron when to Miami but the media made it appear like we were all outside burning his jersey when it was a handful of idiots. I love him. He doesn’t come with drama, no side chicks, no drugs, nada. He works with the community, sends kids to college who without his help, could never go. He’s a class act and I can’t stop gushing over him and the rest of the Cavs. When it’s your home team, you feel protective of them, like you know them personally. Like I’ve said above, the odds are heavily in favor of the Warriors and finals make me so nervous unless we’re ahead by 30, but it would be awesome to repeat. Yes indeed! *if the Cavs lose, it’s the Kardashian curse with that Khloe falling in love with her fourth or fifth baller in Tristan Thompson….teehee*

      • BrandyAlexander says:

        Nancy, it’s 5:00 somewhere! Have you a brandy alexander! LOL.

        I actually don’t think the odds are that high in the warriors favor. It’s a toss up to me, I believe the Cavs are just as good. Love (who is my favorite Cavalier – the city media crapped all over him for 2 years and he just took it and rocked!) has been playing outstanding! I’m with you on that Kardashian Kurse – I don’t even understand why these athletes are so enamored with them, they bring so much DRAMA at a time when you should be focused. Although, I haven’t heard much of them since the beginning of the season. Are you still in Cleveland? Are they talked about much there?

        I’ll be visiting Cleveland in a couple weeks. If the series goes that long, I’ll be arriving on the day game 6 will be played. I can’t wait to see the energy in the city!

      • Nancy says:

        @Brandy Alexander: I live in Lakewood and have a full view of the cityscape from where I live. The Tower will be lit up in Cav’s colors, it’s beautiful. The City is pumped and it’s contagious. Kevin is playing well, and hopefully will continue. I love Kyrie, like a little machine, Uncle Drew! The two negatives, yeah, the Warriors are heavily favored to win, but they were last year as well…..and Kardashian is still with Tristan, which makes no one happy, but that’s a different story.

        Hope you come home to a happy city for game 6. Win or lose, it’s been a great season and these guys make winter fly by! GO CAVS!!!

        @Jenni: I have no idea how you arrived at the conclusion you did under MY post. Plus 1 to Kitten’s response. I have Cavs fever obviously and don’t want to go to dark places and won’t allow myself to be pulled in.

      • BrandyAlexander says:

        Nancy, I went to high school at St. Augustine Academy in Lakewood! (They have since closed, so you may not be familiar). The grounds overlooked the lake, and it was the most stunning place to study! I have great memories of my teenage years running around Lakewood, and one of my best friends still lives there.

        Man, you are giving me Cleveland fever! I can’t wait to indulge in the local cuisine (pierogi, Mr. Here’s romanburger, Great Lakes beer!), and visit my family and friends! Cleveland people are the best people! My husband and I really considered moving back when our little one arrived last year, but – after living in the desert for the last 13 years, I just don’t think I could do the snow again.

        The only bummer for my upcoming trip – the Indians are playing elsewhere. I was really looking forward to going to a game at the Jake (will never be Progressive field to me – LOL!)

      • Nancy says:

        We share a lot of the same memories. My husband and I lived in Florida, wanting to pass the bar in both states and possibly retire in Fl in the future. But we came home. We love it here, the schools are the best, restaurants, downtown and ah yes the Jake! Everybody still calls it that!

        I do remember St. Augustine. I live on the lake and there’s nothing like it, the views are spectacular, summer and winter, although like you I do not like the snow. I have a baby as well (but also have a preteen and teen!)

        Fun talking to someone who I may have passed on the street. Hope your upcoming trip is everything you hope for and we are celebrating a Cavs title!

      • BrandyAlexander says:

        Thanks, Nancy! It was delightful talking to you too. Living on the lake must be awesome. I miss the lake the most. People who have never seen the Great Lakes just don’t understand that it’s like living on the ocean.

        Hopefully, we can reconvene tomorrow and celebrate a Cav’s victory!

      • Danielle says:

        Brandy alexander, it’s barely snowed in Northeast ohio for the past two years. Thanks climate change! So you can come on back. Go Cavs! (Not loving the guy from train doing the national anthem for tonight’s game).

      • nikko says:

        Yea right and LeBron cried the whole series when things didn’t go his way. GO WARRIORS!!!!!

  4. TQB says:

    I don’t feel the need to pick between them. They are both incredible athletes. I’m so sorry that LeBron is in the position of having to discuss this but so much respect to him for doing so. When someone is the victim of a hate crime and takes the opportunity to educate, we all owe it to them to listen and learn.

  5. Lwithearts says:

    For f88ks sake.

    Its as bad here in Australia (but with a lot of different nuances pertaining to indigenous groups for example) Nuance and levels of racism aside …its a completely bullshit and baseless toxic thought process that exists. That tiny bit of melain difference…thats all it is guys!!

    My only way of really succeeding against bigoted people is to use compassion and love. It is difficult but it does change thought processes.I have seen it happen. I want to say more. I feel inarticulate with such a small statement.

    • DeniseMich says:

      I understand your point but Aborigine = Native Americans, not African Americans. Sadly, America has a nuanced relationship with that group also. We all want to claim some Native American ancestry but as a culture do and say ignorant things about them all the time.

      • Lwithearts says:

        Sorry I should have clarified that Australia is very racist to many groups of people, indigenous groups – being one, Africans, African Americans, Indians… refugees are referred to as Boat People (look up Manus Island)
        we had a tv personality don black face (Sam Newman if you google) on a sports show and he merely got a slap on the wrist.

  6. IlsaLund says:

    I was very proud of how Lebron addressed this incident. He spoke the unfiltered truth and didn’t try to sanitize his message. It was direct and to the point, very well said. I wish more athletes had the courage to be as honest and truthful when incidents like this happen.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. As someone who basically follows NBS hoops because my son is passionate about it, I’d developed a fairly negative impression of LeBron when he played for Miami. He’s grown on me as I’ve learned more about him and I dare say I’ve developed a real fondness for him. I like both teams but I’m feeling like I want the Cave to win this one.

  7. Alarmjaguar says:

    I know America has always been racist (historian here), but the way people have been emboldened recently is terrifying and incredibly depressing. It seemed we were making some progress–and clearly we were because these reactions are so intense. Having a black president clearly enraged a large portion of our population. And that makes me incredibly sad and disappointed

  8. Nicole says:

    I’m a recent fan of Lebron. Lebron during his “Decision” days turned me off in a major way. But I think he’s grown up a lot since then which is why I’m back to enjoying him.
    Anyways what he says is right. It’s my truth as well. Every day although I work, go to grad school and interning someone will see me as “just black”. I go through cycles of how I deal but it’s been increasingly hard since Ferguson.

  9. QQ says:

    A) He is Right, this election truly and well took the scales off my eyes, It let me know full clear how it IS ( I actually have had my own Model Minority mom and assorted relatives full come to Jesus and damned Near radicalized )

    B) This neatly dispense that BS notion that you can Money yourself into transcendence ( which is what ya’ll will hit us with when he passes)

    C) The fact that This very special, gifted, generous to his community, involved with issues ( in a way MJ and Cablasian forever Tiger Always neatly side stepped) man muses of his ambition to own a team in the future in public and immediately elements of this culture that are fully up front and emboldened by the Racist Sexual abuser that American put in place sees fit to let him know how he is still viewed in this society….

    D) I hope thy catch the sentient pond scum that did this and I hope Lebron takes a page of my petty book and sues and definitely presses charges ( Cause that’s next , ya’ll will want him “to be the bigger person” and rehab through his emotional labor the dirtbag who did this)

    E) This sh*t isn’t make believe, Listen to Black People when they tell you what is happening, this isn’t our collective imaginations or anything Making up Sh*t like This : https://twitter.com/wilw/status/870082087235100673


    F) I THINK im gonna do myself a solid and not come back to this thread so I don’t have to cringe through the parsing and the #NotAllOfUs sh*t

    • Almondjoy says:

      Sis finish by going down the full alphabet, we could speak up until and after the letter Z on a subject like this. Time and time again, people don’t wanna face the truth and say “well maybe” or “he should have” when the truth of matter is right in front of their faces. Racism is alive and well and perpetuated. It’s ignored and brushed under the rug and excused. Love how Bronny spoke out about what it’s like to be black in America.

      I’m almost certain more people will care to comment on and get angry about what’s going on with Katy Perry and Taylor Swift than they will about this situation. But this is real life for us.

    • Esmom says:

      As a middle aged white woman I can’t begin to truly imagine your real lives, I’m crushed at the hatred and fear I see everywhere and having Bigly in charge makes the world seem all that more hopeless. But QQ and Almondjoy, it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to hear your words of wisdom on so many of these threads. And your humor, too, is priceless.

  10. Ncboudicca says:

    This makes me so incredibly sad. So many stupid, ignorant, malicious people out there.

  11. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    I am glad that he and his family are safe.

    Please feel free to ask a black person how we feel about living in America, but also be prepared to listen to and respect everything we have to say. This is one of the main reasons I don’t really speak to some white people about race issues: the lack of respect, cognitive dissonance, and the inability to admit that they may be wrong. Not that they are wrong, but that there is a possibility that they may be wrong. It is a frustrating situation where you know they can hear what you are saying but it is not truly sinking in because they have their own notions about the way the world works and they refuse to see it any other way. We can all talk about Trump being a diseased turd, but when it comes to issues like this or casual racism- barely any comments.

    If you do choose to listen: Don’t try to rationalize or play down our experiences, don’t call us sensitive or try to justify the bad behavior that was/is being thrown at us. Also, don’t pull the “everyone goes through that” bs. It is dismissive and also a damn lie. Also, don’t try to play us off each other. Just because James said he does not experience racism does not mean the same can be said for Taquan, Khadija, or Hanae. Not every black person has the same experience. Not all black people even acknowledge that racism exists or that it has any impact on their lives. That is until they cannot deny it to themselves anymore.

    • Ashley.Nate says:

      1000000000000000% upvotes. Thank you for telling the whole truth and nothing but the damn truth sis

  12. Nina says:

    Wait, but I thought that racism was over?

  13. thaisajs says:

    There is a lot of hate in the U.S. This morning on the radio I heard that they found a noose in the new Smithsonian museum devoted to African-American history.

    But you know, there’s also a lot of love and respect. I’d like to think that the vast majority of Americans would be horrified at what happened to Lebron and the worse things that have happened to other African-Americans and people of color. But maybe I’m just being naive.

  14. AmunetMa'at says:

    My favorite quote is from James Baldwin: “to be black in America is to be in a constant state of rage”. It is always there, how your blackness shapes your experiences and other reactions to you. You can’t ever escape it. During my pregnancy, hubby and I had so many fears and discussions about the dangers of raising a black child in this climate. We just had our cultural historical records and strength of our ancestors as a guide to get through it. Now that my son is here ( 19days old) and witnessing everything that has happened this week, I just hold him tight and pray. No one is immune from hate.

    • Tina says:

      A very powerful post. I hope that your son is happy and healthy throughout his life.

  15. Snowflake says:

    That is terrible. Didn’t he support Hillary too? Seems like a great guy.

    • Nina says:

      Yeah, I like the guy. Even though he knocked my Raptors out of the playoffs for the second year in a row, go Cavs!

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      And he started refusing to stay in Trump branded hotels when the team travels. So much respect for that from me!

  16. OhDear says:

    Damn, I would not have been so calm if I were him.

    • Ayra. says:

      Truly, I know in my heart that I would TRY to be this calm, but I would fail – you’d be able to hear the anger in my voice. He sounds both hurt and tired of it.

  17. nona says:

    Another Ohioan here with family ties to Cleveland. Diehard Cavs fans (and Browns fan, but that’s another story:). Above and beyond LeBron’s amazing athletic ability, his intelligence, and the fact that he is the GOAT—this man has done so much for his community. He’s an incredible role model and he’s out there, week after week, donating time, money, and resources to young people. And this is what he has to deal with. It’s sickening. It’s sickening that it happens to any African American, not just LeBron. But my heart goes out to him because God, the man gives back so much … I just don’t understand how any American, any person, white or black, wouldn’t be proud to share the planet with this guy. Instead, this is what he gets. I hate this part of America more than anything else.

  18. adastraperaspera says:

    Great statement from LeBron.

  19. mellie says:

    Me too Kaiser…I love Lebron. I think he’s a great person and obviously the GOAT. People can talk about MJ all day and he was a great player, one of the greatest, but a really crappy person if you believe all the you read about him outside of basketball. Lebron is the King. I hate it this happened to him and his family. It’s so ridiculous.

  20. Suze says:

    I am so glad he addressed it as a systemic issue, not a one off.

  21. Hollah says:

    I just came for the LeBron post. Die hard fan here too and he is an athlete that I can 100 percent support my son looking up to. He does so much good in his community and works so damn hard. Truly inspiring. We went to a couple Cavs games this year and the man is truly a marvel to watch. He athletic ability is he genuinely unbelievable.

    And finally, for tonight’s game one, GO CAVS!!!

  22. cindyp says:

    i’m really impressed with him. Unlike neanderthal Tom Brady who’s seemingly ignorant & oblivious of anything that doesn’t involve football & diet, Lebron has is intelligent, thoughtful & has important things to say. He has a future post basketball in politics. I would love for him to partner with Pres. Obama on something.

  23. Wow says:

    The culprits shouldn’t be hard to find. I would imagine that Lebron would have cameras all over his property, especially the gate entrance, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the person(s). They shouldn’t have to only rely on the footage from neighbors property cameras. Especially when it could very well be one of his nearby neighbors who wrote it.

    • Almondjoy says:

      I’m almost certain they will find the culprits. The real concern is that someone has enough hatred in their heart to do something like this.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      That’s true. I hope they get caught.

  24. Onemoretime says:

    And people wanna put down Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee for an anthem that’s was clearly not meant for the African American. This is why he takes a knee. The same as what happened to Doctor Dre, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, to some people you will always be one thing in their eyes.

    • Kitten says:

      Colin was also criticized for not voting.
      Nas recently had a good write-up about this subject and honestly, if I were black I’m not sure how I would feel regarding our political system. I’d like to think that I would vote but the message from the black community since Dump’s election has been clear: “this might be new to all of you, but it is NOT new to us.”
      I get the frustration of seeing all these white people freak out when shit has BEEN terrible (although slowly getting better the last 8 years) for blacks and other minorities for what feels like forever.

      This is Nasir Jones’s write-up for MassAppeal if you haven’t read it already and are interested:

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Not voting isn’t good but I still agree with the message behind his taking a knee during the anthem.

  25. CityGirl says:

    This will forever hurt my soul and will forever remind me of how far we have to go as Human Beings. It also makes me want to pop the f*** off