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. WokkaWokka

    White people hate Lebron cuz they can't be him. Ain't his fault blacks do everything better.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. william parker

    yall are jerks lebron is a beast clevland sucks i can see why he plays for miami they rock im a clevland hater deal with it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CLEVLAND SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MIAMI ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doug

    Why all the hate messages about this guy.. ? First, he owes not one thing to Cleveland, he had the right to move on and he did... Cleveland thinks when someone plays on one of their teams they own them, that went out of style in 1869.
    Secondly, when someone comes off with racial slurs as bad as his twitter, I would be concerned for my safety as well as my families... We don't have the right to hate on people in that manner... Lebron, keep your head up high and don't look back at Cleveland, the land of haters !

    October 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clevelanders

      @Doug.... It's not that he left it's how he left. When Cleveland kids buy his number, fans pack the Q to watch him play, he most certainly does owe some loyalty to his fans!! Hold his head up????!!!! I don't see how he could. He saids he didn't make up his mind to move on until he had a talk with his "mommy", please it's time he put his big boy pants on and become a man!!!!

      October 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. paul

    truth hurts

    October 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nicole from Ohio

    Don't worry about it Lebron. It's just a bitter bunch of cowardly whites who wouldn't dare say this to your face. The true colors of white racists always rears its ugly head. Tweet them back and tell them to KISS YOUR FABULOUS BLACK ASS!

    October 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • WokkaWokka

      Exactly! They only mad cuz he black! They mad cuz the $$ black man left and now they gotta find a new cash cow to milk. White people make me sick. They serve no purpose in life but to present a hurdle in the black mans path to his goals. White people do no good

      October 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • You are there

      Cowardly whties, eh? Is that why blacks always jump single whites in a group? In states without conceal carry laws, like Illinois, whites are being jumped by groups of blacks who call it "Polar Bear Hunting." They come up on a lonely white male from behind and hit him with a board or something. In one report I read, the lone white got up and took his karate stance, he was a blackbelt. The cowardly blacks ran from one white guy. Just because your man is famous, don't think that the reverse of this tale is not a daily occurance. It is, just check local stats and reports. I wonder if CNN will have the gonards to allow this in?

      October 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • WokkaWokka

      Quit wit the fairy tales. No single white gonna do that. Make up a million stories. We preach truth

      October 20, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WokkaWokka

    I hope Lebron steps on Kirk Hinrich, finishes off Steve Nash's back and never passes the ball to Mike Miller

    October 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wyoming

    So an NBA superstar makes a racially charged comment and thinks it's newsworthy that some crank responded with a racial epithet? Am I supposed to feel sorry for LeBron James? Yes, racism is wrong. No, I don't feel sorry for someone who makes entirely too much money putting an inflatable rubber ball through a hoop.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Henk in Colorado

    It's sad that while this country tries to guarantee freedom for everyone in this world, some people expected LeBron to stay within the slavery he was locked into ever since he was drafted by Cleveland.
    Can't people just understand that he is free to work for whoever he wants to? Cleveland should count their blessings for having been able to hold onto him for this long.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. You are there

    I'm sick of all the hatred of hate! Hate is a normal, human emotion. It is NOT illegal to hate, and if it becomes illegal, as it nearly is in some cases, then we are really IN the Big Brother State

    October 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AWOKO

    smurfmacaw

    Oh WAAAAAAAAAH. Do you really expect all the rednecks in the world to validiateyour income? there are people that don't like me cause I'm white, they don't like my daughter r cause shes Asian (I guess they are too smart and willing to work for what they need)"

    First of all moron, you out of line. Lebron was pelted with racial epithets. That is wrong regardless of his actions. You can call him greedy and use many other words that are not too personal or derogatory to attack him.
    Secondly,please quit the stereotypes. Asians are not smarter than any other race. They work hard . And in academia, the result of hard work is good grades. They have dumb, crazy, criminal elements amongst them too. If you r assumptions are true, why is Asia not a first world like most of Europe and north America? Why have the Asian countries not pioneered most of what the West pioneered?
    Asian students study 10 times harder than than the average all American kids. If you seek you shall find. Hard work is responsible for their academic achievement not genetic superiority.
    If you go to any classroom anywhere in the world, the intelligence distribution looks like a pyramid. You have one or two kids who are gifted. Then majority are in the middle. Then on or two who are dumb. Maybe this is too much for your little brain to comprehend.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vett41

    People are so stupid this have been going on for years. people leave get traded whatever. so why this? its all business dont take your job home. when u leave practice cut all ties with this unforgiving world. u c all they have to offer nothing but grief.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. realitycheck101

    What bothers me about the whole Lebron ordeal is that the city of Clevland thinks he owes them something. Last time I checked he was an professional athlete and free agency allowed him to leave. He was not the mayor, councilman, etc. Professional sports are a form of entertainment. If Clevland is so dependent on him for economic support, then they need to reevaluate their city officals and budget. Better yet, get another job and stop complaining. Half the people that are sour about this could not play any sport except "web surfing". Get over it and get a life. And yes race plays apart in everything we do....I bet if they focused their ignorance towards something positive, life would be so much better in Cleveland.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cavsfanupset

      Reality check, it is they way he did it, what don't you understand why fans are upset?He screwed the cavs and left them with NOTHING! Lebrons the racist and i hope him, Dwane and Bosch fall flat on there face.Lebron never wnated to win in Cleveland and the Boston series proved it!-

      October 20, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bro fatley

    How many people on here know Lebron? The man is doing his job, like most people if they had one. Why is so important to us as to how he does his job? Does he pay your bills, take your children to school. If you want to do it different, learn to play basketball and try to make it to the NBA. If you have a problem with him, well like they say " all your problems begin and end with you" . Wow, there are alot of haters in this world.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cavsfanupset

      Yeah, i am a hater NOW!!! That selfish SOB put the ringer to ALL cavs fans, Black and White! i am not a racist by all means but it is how he did it is very upsetting to all Northeast Ohio fans, why is it so hard for you Lebron fans to understand that?Yeah i am white but have a black girlfriend so am i a racist?Screw Lebron!!!!

      October 20, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • bro fatley

      who said something about race? Everybody needs a boogie man. Screw it Lebron, just make some holloween masks and make some more money off these haters. Haters comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Hell, I got some blacks haters in my 'hood and I dont even have sh....

      October 21, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    How do we teach our children to act civil and not be racist when as adults we're upset that another human made a decision. If you hate him for his decision then what if your child becomes famous what do you tell the? It has to stop people! I never knew a man's decision that wouldn't effect the average joe's life could make people so extreme...GET A HOBBY

    October 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    All Lebron did was retweet the message, and said don't let peoples negative views stop your dreams. That isn't Wahhhh or crying. That is taking a positive approach on life. To the Cleveland folks, government and business people: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Your entire economy shouldn't be based around one athlete. Hotels, tourists, game tickets, etc...

    October 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
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