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. Bill

    Is it racist for Lebron to assume that whoever wrote those words was white? How does he know that it was a non-black person? Maybe he should keep his mouth shut before speculating.........

    October 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • simon

      Don't know much about the Twitter thing, eh? It's not anonymous!

      October 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • DavidMichael

      Yes, Twitter can very much be anonymous and you can build a fake profile pretty easily.

      I was born and raised in Cleveland, nope not the 'burbs, and wonder what part of Cleveland isn't Ghetto? I took my kids to my old neighborhood and their comment was: "you are so cool, you are from the ghetto." I just shook my head and wondered, since when did dirt poor become cool?

      October 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Saying race is always a factor is just another bias perpetuated by stereotypes. So some morons posted racist comments ... They deserve condemnation, but that doesn't make everyone else racist. Some people just believe LeBron is a classless whinner. Hopefully he can get his ring as a role player on D-Wade's team. Then we'll remember him being as good as Scottie Pippen.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    Le. James knows NBA games are fixed. He knows that it is perfectly legal (and proven in court cases) for the NBA to order referees to fix games. He won't talk about this small issue, but he will blab on and on about anything racial. Just as he is told to do. Read "The Fix is In" and find this out for yourself.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jayrock28

    Keep your head up LB dont even let that get to you you to be bigger then that people are going to hate you because of your skin color for the rest of thier lives you must understand its in there BLOODLINE so we just role with it

    October 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. henoir98

    He just showed how stupid he is. If I received a lot of tweets that were offensive, and I was asked to share 3 as an example, I would show the 3 tweets that are the most offensive. The 3 he showed, the first one was offensive, the other 2 were nothing. This shows you that he probably just got that one tweet that was racially motivated. He's an idiot and he needs to grow up. If you open a twitter account, and ppl follow you, you will get hurtful messages. Live with it, thats what happens when you have twitter! grow up!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bunnie

    To David Michael: I live in Atlanta, too, and the reason we know this wasn't a brother-to-brother conversation is because typically black folks don't call each other big-lipped and bug-eyed, even if some unfortunately try to blunt the hatefulness of the n-word by using it as street slang.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • simon

      @Bunnie, do ya'll call each other "nappy-headed ho's?" I'm from St.Louis and the A.A.'s there do.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • pinkristen

      @bunnie: but you just used 'brother-to-brother' . so are 2 white guys who are fm the same mother not 'brothers'? maybe not in the sense you're referring to, but WHY NOT? WHY the separation? why am i not a 'sister' (i have 2 sisters)?

      October 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DavidMichael

      Since I want to keep this clean, let me assure you Bunny, pretty much every body part can and does get insulted.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. B=Dog

    He should have shown mine... I called him a moron for talking about himself in the 3rd person 🙂

    October 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel San

    LeBron you WHINER!!!!! Waaaaa waaaaa. Poor LeBron. He's so presecuted. Good God. Cancel Twitter if you can't take the "heat" LeBron.. with all your millions and playboy life. You are pathetic dude. Your narcissism has brought great shame on the game. I miss the days of the true pros like Magic, Bird, Jordan, even Isiah Thomas. Heck even Dennis Rodman.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert Larsson

    LeBron is a moron. He gets a cowardly and anonymous message and then essentially "airs" the message to the world. He gave this unnamed coward who sent the message a world wide audience. The person who sent the message could not be happier and must be laughing his head off.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hf

    I think basketball is for blacks, and whites going to see a bunch of rotten kids .... keep it polite, I will be reminded that not all player fill this sterotype, and should cast all with the same brush. saying that ...... we need to cool the pay and the ego,
    I watched basketball at the University level, it is exciting no doubt, never watch NBA not even in news reel on sports channel, toss my cookie, Now Steve Nash, the White dude is the one left that is a white ghost on the court, not many like him.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin Cantu

    Prove your worth on the court LeBron and then maybe the critic's(Both legit and Sick) will finally shut it up....

    October 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. truthinrock

    LJ states, "everyone thinks this is easy and it's not a bed of roses." Well buddy, you're more than compensated for your "less than bed of roses life". I got no pity for millionaires cryin about how life is treating them bad.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MAHAGWA

    As a black athlete (who happens to play basketball and soccer), I see this all the time. These non-athletic whites and hispanics worship your game, but their little selves are so full of envy at your capabilities that race bubbles within them. They act like they own you just because you are black and they are white or mexican. They act like you should feel so honores that they exist...they are full of themselves and do all they can to stand in the way of your success. I ignore them because I know that the more I succeed, the more that envy will burn them, and there is nothing better than to give a hater more reason to hate. I am quite sure that all professional athletes (to which I aspire one day) deal with this same b.s. All I can say is that we as arace have come a long way, and despite all the hatred we face, we keep soldiering on..you racist haters can not and will not stop the black race–so keep hating and being racist...we've dealt with it for over 400 years and GUESS WHAT..WE ARE STILL HERE.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michelle

    Jimmy cracked corn, and I don't care.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    The NBA fixes it's own games. So all of your sport fan bantering is for nothing.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • LeChoke

      True!

      October 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
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