October 20th, 2010
06:23 PM ET

LeBron James reveals racially charged tweet

Weeks after he said he thinks race plays a role in some of the criticism he faces, NBA star LeBron James retweeted a racially charged Twitter message that someone sent him.

The message was one of three critical tweets that the Miami Heat player retweeted Tuesday for the public to see.

"U r a big nosed big lipped bug eyed n*****. ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness," the message read. The apparent sender’s Twitter account no longer exists.

ESPN.com reported that after the Heat's practice Wednesday in Miami, James said he just wanted people "to see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes."

"Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it’s not," James said, according to ESPN.com.

Accompanying the retweets was a tweet from James himself: "U see world how people feel! Just use it as extra motivation in whatever u do best! No one can stop your dreams from becoming reality!"

In an interview earlier this year, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked James whether race played a role in a backlash over “The Decision,” an hourlong July special on ESPN in which he announced he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

"I think so, at times," James responded. "[There's] always a race factor."

Many columnists, bloggers and fans had criticized the Akron, Ohio, native over the way he handled his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers, James’ team for the first seven years of his NBA career. Some bemoaned what they said was his lack of loyalty to his hometown, and others said that although they felt James could go where he wanted, the manner in which he announced the move was too egotistical and an embarrassment to Cleveland.

Some commentators later criticized James over his answer to O'Brien's race question.

"With his self-aggrandizing, narcissistic one-hour TV exit - 'The Decision' - LeBron James ruined his public image, not racism," FoxSports' Jason Whitlock wrote in early October.

ESPN.com's J.A. Adande wrote, however, that James "didn't claim to be a victim of racial persecution" and just noted what is "a simple, fundamental truth in our society and, in particular, the NBA.”

"As long as the NBA features predominantly black athletes playing for predominantly white owners who are selling their sport to predominantly white ticket buyers, there will be a race factor. It's an ongoing quandary, usually left unsaid,"  Adande wrote.

The two other two critical tweets that James made public Tuesday did not have any racial slurs. One said: "hey good game last night, too bad you're a fraud, BITCH." The other said: "no one wants to hear u speak. Why dont u speak by laying ur head under a moving car."

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Filed under: LeBron James • Sports
soundoff (350 Responses)
  1. El_Capitan_De_Amerigo_Vespucci

    LeBron James reveals racially charged tweet? OH NO. I see severally dozen racially charged tweets a day on CNN com depending on the articles. CNN turning this into overhyped garbage just like that drudge report headline i just saw that said 'no rent candidate pays no rent' .. way to energize the masses with a bunch of nothing.

    October 21, 2010 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Grand Dragon

    hang that monkey

    October 21, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Little man.

      October 21, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • The Ni$$@ U Love 2 Hate

      You wish you were hung like that Monkey (cosign) "little man"

      October 21, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. stasman

    Unfortunately, racial comments play a part in all of our lives. The comments posted all appear to incriminate the white race. Some of these comments may have been directed at Lebron by members of his own race. The black race still use the N word openly. No matter what race is using this word, its a sad commentary on the world we live in. I do believe if Lebron had not played dead during the NBA Finals and put himself on a Pedestal, when he announced his decision to leave, he would not have received the ongoing negativity directed at him.

    October 21, 2010 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Some white trash will always try to down grate someone with different colour, faith or nationality. That deed elevates him to a higher plain in the eyes of his equals.
    t is unfortunate that this country is still breading these type of people. I am not a black man or a liberal, but I admire the dignity shown by minorities in this country, starting with our President.
    By the way, if you ask some of these folks what is their faith? They will tell you Christian.

    October 21, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. autom

    In my experience, I've heard white people use the "n" word maybe 20 times in my life. I've personally heard black people use it well over 100. If you include rap songs, it's in the thousands. Who's keeping the word alive?

    October 21, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. J

    People, Black and White: For God's sakes! (I'm black by the way).
    White people: LeBron James is a 20-something year old (millionare) kid. He won't always make the best decisions. He made a mistake with the decision stuff, fine, but it's not because he's black or stupid, he's YOUNG. Color has nothing to do with it okay? Fine, moving on.
    Black people: Stop blaming White people for everything we do wrong. Jesse starting that stupidity and we fed into it. While it is true that we are under a microscope, it's STUFF LIKE THIS that put us under a microscope. We will never progress if everytime we get criticized we (seemingly, some justified, but it dosent matter) make excuses. We need to stop.
    Unfortunately, all the greatest black NBA players in history had to endure some kind of racial backlash. Wilt, Bill, Magic, even Jordan. It is what it is. Dont focus on it and keep on moving. LeBron is making it worse by re-tweeting that dumb ish. Got to keep it moving.

    October 21, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. hipponitus

    someone should tape James mouth shut every time he opens it i hate him more and more

    October 21, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. STEVE ST.LOUIS

    LOL, AY YOU HEARD WHAT HE SAID HE WILL REMEMBER.... WELL CLEVELAND BE ON THE LOOK OUT CAUSE WHEN HE COMES TO TOWN... LOL IT AINT GOING TO BE PRETTY....

    October 21, 2010 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. EX LBJ FAN

    I think so, at times," James responded. "[There's] always a race factor .............well what is it at times or always it can't be both

    October 21, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bobington

    So three redneck retards send him 3 racial tweets and suddenly no one likes him because he is black. WOW he is a complete idiot.

    October 21, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Randy

    Why are we still in a world of hate and racism? We are all equal in all we are. No one is better than someone else. Now let me clarify that. People maybe better at what they do than some people but at the end of the day we are all humans with a dream and want to live the perfect life. Everyone is born with the same opportunity its just what we make of it. SOME PEOPLE NEED TO GET THEIR HEAD OUT OF THEIR ASS AND LOOK AT THE DAYLIGHT AND REALIZE WE ARE A WORLD OF ONE. i can tell you one thing right now, if war was to happen on american soil i can PROMISE you the people who are racist will be on the others race side to protect our freedom as a whole in this country. no matter if you black, white, hispanic,cuban,mexican,chinese etc.... so lets all get a grip here an leave race out of the problems and stop stereo typing our fellow americans!

    October 21, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    one of the more interesting aspects of the internet is that it makes ppl feel anonymous.....it lets folks bare their true souls. Hello all you clandestine KKK members, closet racists etc....I hope you all realize that its 2010 and there is no longer any place for you in this world.

    October 21, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jorge

    Lots of sports fans in the U.S. are unremarkable, indolent, unfit couch potatoes that project their unexpressable, pent up aggression and subconscious desire to reap the rewards of physical fitness that they have no willpower to attain, through sports heros of their selection. When these sports figures show to have a personality of their own that clashes with this type of fan's worldview, the fan turns hostile, reviling the athlete and adopting a sense of 'betrayal'.

    October 21, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • senorfrisk

      Jorge, this is the most senisble post I have read in a long, long time. Bravo!

      October 21, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. ProudWhite

    Waaaa! Every time I turn on the tv and flip thru channels "African Americans" are making fun of white people. It's ok for blacks to stereotype and make fun of whites , but not vice versa. I blame the white NORTHERN slave traders for bringing these whiny people over here! Go back to Africa and just be called African!!

    October 21, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. ready

    Does anyone care!!! You have these over-paid members of society who go out and bounce a ball up and down the court and get paid millions of dollars because people are nutty enough to buy the tickets...duh

    October 21, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
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