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. EvolutionIsOK

    Apparently LeBron means the world to these people. Maybe he should change his name to Ben Rothlienberger that way white folks can sleep at night. I know Steve Nash makes me scream "cr*cker" all the time.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Lex

      Classic.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. T-2000

    Its funny how people have been speaking out against bullying and the way gay people are treated but white people see nothing wrong with racial rants. To all of my black brothers and sisters, there is one thing that will shut the evil white racists up. SUCCESS. There is nothing worse for a racist than to see a black person making good money, happy and just living the good life. Ask Kanye West or Michael Vick.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • MC

      Michael Vick and Kanye? Are you joking? Those aren't exactly the best examples. Dog killer/felon and ego maniac. Nice.

      October 21, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Donut

      Gog killer wahhh, Ego wahhhhh, but real threats to society like Cheney and Bush are A-OK. Yippiiieeee lets kill people!

      October 21, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Donut

      Oh I made a typo- "Dog" wahhhhh. Who cares anyway.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      I'm a white guy, and I'm going to say this anyway. Shut the $*(@#&$ up and move on already. Yes, there are racists in the world. There are whites that hate blacks. There are blacks that hate whites. Nobody said that the world was perfect but everyone is sick of hearing excuses. Lebron makes more money than I'll see in twenty lifetimes and yet all he does is play a game while I risk my life to defend our country. Fair? Nope, but its life and you don't hear me crying that the big bad black man is trying to keep me down. Unfortunately everyone deals with some type of discrimination, be it fat people, gay people, white people, black people, mexican people, or little people. It isn't going to change as long as humans are still imperfect so deal with it, and SHUT UP ALREADY.

      October 21, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • The Ni$$@ U Love 2 Hate

      All my white brothers,

      Why are you turning beat red over Lebron? Why does racism, historical or present, elicit such heart felt responses from you? Some blacks say, "they hate us cause they ain't us." I laugh when I listen to these white Stu Jackson impersonatonators on ESPN, those artificial soulful ad libs that they interject during highlight recaps. It's funny to me, just like when I see the facial expressions on white men as they pass a black guy with a white girl on his arm. "I know why she's with him, and its not because his money's long."

      I digress, its fear, you fear that History will repeat itself. The return to a time when Kings were black. To a time when our Hebrews forefathers were obedient to God and enjoyed peace and prosperity. You can only white-out the History for so long. Quit living a lie, the truth shall set you free.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tom Patterson

    No doubt race is playing some factor in the heat he's taking for switching teams. Racial politics is a complicated animal, and to suggest that it isn't playing on some of the comments is to be sort of blind to a pretty big ethical and moral situation that is ongoing in America. That said, "The Decision" was sorta silly.

    I don't really get the LeBron hate. Was it a somewhat ego-driven miscalculation to handle his departure that way? Sure. I really doubt, however, it was his choice, made in a vacuum of all other opinions, to do it. The guy should probably fire his business manager.

    LeBron James will get through this. He still has a legitimate claim to being the best playing today (I think Michael Jordan still has the 'best of all time' thing locked up) and he'll bounce back.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vince

    W8 for a sec and breathe and think about it. Race had nothing to do with this! He let down the city of Cleveland and angered his fan base. Plus, he took so dam long to answer a simple question. If you looked at the kids in the background they were bored as hell. But, that doesn't matter. If you were making millions of dollars in a professional sport, you have some etiquette about doing things. It's not like working for McDonalds and leave for Burger King. It's more than that.
    It was Jesse Jackson that started the whole race deal. exact words:
    "He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.” – Jesse Jackson

    All I can say is that who cares and be a man. For your case Lebron be a rich black man that is getting paid and having fun. You made your decision and you have to deal with it for better or for worse. Period.
    Think about it...

    October 21, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. OwnIt

    SHUT THE FVCK UP ABOUT HOW THE DECISION WENT DOWN! How does that justify calling the dude a "N" word??? Really you azzclowns?

    October 21, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      You're right. The n-word was out of line. A better choice would have been egomaniac. Poor sport. Sore loser. Any of those would have been more appropriate.

      October 21, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. EM

    No matter how wealthy you are, how talented you are, how powerful you are - if you are an African-American, you can be torn down in an instant. No white person ever can understand how humiliating that is.

    This country is doomed.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. JT

    As long as we continue to see race as a factor for our lot in life, there will always be racism – if only in ourselves.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • JFI

      Welll Duh...Did it take long to figure that out??

      October 21, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. John

    The racial comments are never acceptable!! The 'poor Lebron' crap though is ridiculous.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Paradisso

    The problem is that a lot of white people can't believe that racial hate exists, I believe them, because they themselves don't
    hate, but it's naaive even stupid to ignore that racial hate is embedded in our society, young children are exposed to this practice at home,school, TV, films everywhere...to change it you have to start at home schools etc..

    October 21, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • EM

      Agreed, Paradisso. It is imbedded - in racist jokes at the dinner table, nasty comments from Mom & Dad in the front seat of the car, racial slurs in the Wal-Mart check-out line ....... all while children are listening in the background.

      Like I said above, this country is doomed.

      October 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Victor

    Hey LeBron, If you do not the color of MONEY you are getting then go someplace esle and earn it, See what happens. It has been stated that you have no element of class. Let me state it so you can understand. NO Element has been found to offer you any class!. Stop crying or go see a therapist and let all your anger out because as ablack person you are making too much money and it is not buying you repect-too damn bad! You do not pay me enough to watch you paly.!

    October 21, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • yo

      there is a special place in hell for people like you. Racist people actually believe that God is on there side....like he cares truly repent and be saved peace be with you.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. T-2000

    Some of the people on here commenting need to take the white hoods off their heads.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Vince

    OwnIt – Ummmm I guessing you didn't think about it. It all started in how he made his decision. And Jesse Jackson was the first one that put race as an issue. No one else. Since then it opened the door for racist remarks. I never said it justified for someone using the N word. So, you can't read or when you do read you don't comprehend what you have read.
    EM – Racism is not just white and black issue. Other cultures are targeted with racists remarks on a daily basis. They don't cry about it... They work harder to become something important in life instead of being a torn down from it.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Vince

    I'm getting tired of people assuming that since you not feel bad about Lebron you must be white. How lame is that? I'm white and proud. There's nothing wrong about it or saying it. It's like being black and proud, Asian and proud, Hispanic and proud it doesn't matter. Lebron should know that social network is double edge sword. They will love you or hate you. They will say positive things or negative things about you. But, right now it will be negative because they are so ticked off... Give it time and people will change their point of view about you.
    Saying racist remarks through social network and hiding is an idiot period.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. OwnIt

    Vince, who the fvck is even talking to you? Did you say the word? If not then keep it moving and take your speech with you. Fvck basketball, I'll be damn if I burn up something over a damnn game.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Vince

    Using cuss words doesn't make you one bit smarter...

    October 21, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
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