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. Mat

    This is rediculous....Lebron James...there are kids killing themselves because of bullying online. You life is not a bed of roses? you get paid millions upon millions of dollars to be a public figure, and with being a public figure you get judged, scrutinized and maybe even made fun of. get over it. there are bigger issues in the world than poor little Lebron James.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rich

    who cares!

    October 21, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stryfe38

    wow, lol, what makes this funny is, no one knows who is who. Everyone is brave, Everyone can talk about race, Everyone can say he or she will do this or that...when they are home or at work behind a computer. Sorry, has nothing to do with story, just funny.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. T-2000

    WokkaWokka forget what these racist people are saying.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Stryfe38

    you know who has class? the person who posted as J. just J. he tells it like it is. Good job man.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Thenextstep

    "retweeted a racially charged twitter" Now thats funny and a tongue twister. Say that 10 times fast.......... 🙂

    October 21, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. E

    Poor James. He makes millions and can't take a little heat. Give up your millions and leave if you don't like it.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. vman

    and you say the US is a free country? may be so for some, but not for everyone. US is losing all it was admired for. Its gonna lead to a total disaster. Bunch of hypocrites are governing the public opinion. Fight the power LBJ!

    October 21, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. dre

    Human beings are a trip. Same blood, several types to choose from; same biochemistry, many genetic presentations; same types of organs and ailments, many medical approaches to disease; all are born, worship something in their lives, are capable of loving people and things, all have heartaches, all fart, poop, think, able to reason, get gray hair, get stomach aches, try alcohol, are exposed to disease, work at one or many jobs, die, eat foods prepared with the same ingredients, cry the same, sleep laying down, vomit, and the list goes on. They've had this incredibly stupid hangup for as long as they have occupied this earth – skin color, as a definition of difference. For any member of the human race who honestly thinks that any race, creed, culture or anything other than the true definition of human being defines humanity – you're missing the point-

    October 21, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    Looks like a nappy headed ho to me

    October 21, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. zee

    LBJ has the right to do whatever he wants, its his life...just coz he changes team it dosnt mean he is greedy or whatever...just coz a big star makes a choice that you dont agree on dosnt make him any less of a person or a basketball player...people who say crap about other people living their lives just has too much time haha! he is just a dude who loves to play the game and people dont see the passion these guys have for the game. he is the way he is because he loves the game...a change of jersey dosnt change the man or the game 😉

    October 21, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Lebron is a moron. He's only looking at the surface and is ignoring the underlying anger and motivation. He's got to be able to think a little deeper rather than play the race card.

    These immature tweets happen because of who Lebron is as a person and what he did (his behavior), not because of his race. The person who wrote that tweet is obviously not intelligent enough to communicate his or her real feelings and simply made an easy cheap shot at the NBA superstar. The tweeter obviously got Lebron's attention and got what he wanted.

    Anyhow the point is that a white person, or anyone else for that matter, would also have received very similar hate filled message if he or she behaved like Lebron. It's only normal when you are major public figure. Black or whit it comes with the territory and he's got to deal with it without whining, complaining and pretending it to be racism.

    On another note, blacks in North America has to stop whining about race issues all the time. It's getting old, it's not accurate, and your not the only ones that are victims of some form of prejudice. If black people really do care about ending racism then they should also be interested in protecting and defending all people and not just blacks.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ethan

    Personal foul – pulling the race card.

    When you've spent your career on a mountain of money, getting your a** kissed, and being adored by fans, you don't get to claim racism when you act like an as***le and get called out for doing so.

    On a side note, go to google and type "lebron james is," and see what comes up. He earned that.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      I just went to google... that is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nate

    Kevin Durant is the best player in the world anyway. And a lot more classy and humble.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Lakers3PEAT

      Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world. When Lebron & Durant finally win 5 NBA championships, they will have not even come close to the overall greatness of KOBE BRYANT. I hope Lebonehead never wins a NBA championship. He screwed over his home state and lots of his fans.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Norman Gene Kirkendall

    Lebron James, except for his tremendous skills and talents is no different than anyone else on earth. He has a right to change jobs just like the rest of us. The world is trying to eliminate abuse but many people of the Cleveland area don't seem to get it. I am from Ohio and I will continue supporting Lebron as he is one of the best Basketball player we have ever seen. It is time for everyone to change their thinking and start supporting their home town hero.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
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