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. Gant


    October 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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)

      October 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jude

      moderntime gladiators and court jesters, will always entertain the masses. are dispensible and can have career ending injuries in a second. poor and taken advantage in the days of yore, paid allot to day for their short time in the limelight. it's either the or the greedy business owner, advertiser etc.who could care less of them. really.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Lebron James is a man, which means he has faults. He nor anyone else in the world deserves someone to spew hateful words towards them. I'm not a serious Lebron fan but I'm a serious NBA fan and having the guy in the league is good pub. His decision was just that his decision so many of use are upset as if his decision affected our lives personally. So he left Cleveland, so he went to Miami so what. How does his decision effect the average man? The people who make the racial slurs you prove only one thing, you are bitter. You are bitter because a guy wanted to play basketball elsewhere. It's nothing wrong with booing him, but making racial comments means you hate him as a person and you never liked his game in the beginning while he was with the Cavs. It's a game, and we're acting stupid. How do we raise our children when we hate a man who wanted to play a game in a new city?

      October 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zach

      Screw LeBron...what a failure.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • todd

      I think he is a good bb player and not great.Jordan was great and he had his demons.I do not remember him whining about his critics.LeBron has an ego and is arrogant so what.I think he made a joke of him self on espn and I do not respect him for his money nor do I hate him for his money.I thank what he did speaks for it self.A joke and thats what i think about him.I also think ESPN should be mocked for entertaining the idea then broadcasting it. I do not care how many tax breaks he has given to charity.If he thinks people are going to respect him for that he should give it all to a worthy cause.I think he could be wealthy in about 20 minutes after he donated all his wealth.QUIT WHINNING like a ghetto boy who has a legitimate gripe.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gant


    October 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • The wild child

      Hey he decided to jump ship and leave Cleveland, when is he going to learn how to be a MAN and stop all the whinning!!!! We will learn to win without his sorry ass!!!!!

      October 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      i know right? here we have a multimillionaire who abandoned his team in the biggest media spectacle he could manage, and now he's whining because someone sent him a mean message.

      give me a break.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TriumPatriot

    Wow, even Klansmen enjoy a good game of hoops!

    October 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gant

    I feel so sorry for him. How about don't go on TWITTER... Tired of people blaming other people for Bullying. DONT GO ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK, OR ANY OTHER SITE LIKE THAT AND YOU WON"T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THESE THINGS

    October 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • HonestlyPoeple

      So, you want him to not use any social media that bullies are on? I hope you teach your kids that too. "Dad, I'm being cyber bullied." "Well son, it's your fault for going online." You're a winner.

      October 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chewie

      Better yet, don't go outside! It's a mean world out there.... Idiot.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edgar Allan Schmoe

      What a big baby! How about if narcissistic LeDumb stops telling the world about every peanut in his crap on Twitter, Facebook, and ESPN? Like we care.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DavidMichael

    How do we know the first is a racial slur when we don't know the race of the person that posted the tweet?

    October 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriumPatriot

      Because we can read the racial slur.

      October 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • DavidMichael

      I live in Atlanta and hear near identical words by A.A.'s to A.A's. So again, how do we know this was a racist comment?

      October 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • HonestlyPoeple

      He's a white kid from Cleveland. Anyone who clicked on the user-name can see he's some punk college kid. Glad he took himself off of it. It's easy to talk about someone when they're miles away, but it's hard to sound tough when they're right next to you.

      October 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • pinkristen

      DavidMichael or anyone else who can answer...what's an A.A.? DavidMichael wrote: "I live in Atlanta and hear near identical words by A.A.'s to A.A's"

      October 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • simon

      @pinkristen,,,(I'm guessing but) "A.A." is probably referring to African-Americans. 😉

      October 20, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seth

      Good Point. You hear black people say The N word all the time to each other. In a friendly manner and not!

      October 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gant


    October 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nelly

      When did we become such a brave bunch of anonymous slur hurlers?

      October 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gant


    October 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Resist710

    Big deal. Man up you little baby.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lebron James

    hey Lebron lets trade

    October 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lebron James

    No and stop using my name

    October 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lebron James

    I am going to use your name deal with it

    October 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lebron James

    No you won't I am famous and play basketball

    October 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. say what?

    I didnt know there were such ignorant racist haters in the world, what a surprise!! NOT! I guess this means he has to grow thicker skin and sip on his tonic poolside with his big lips in his multi- million dollar home. I LOVE HATERS!!!! and racist cowards. 🙂

    October 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Tell um, say what...

      October 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gloria

    WOW! Such Haters! Start living your own lives and stop trying to control someone else's.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WhiteKong78

    I will trade my crappy job for his crappy job. Everyone knows there are idiots online. Did he call the cops so they could track this guy down for a hate crime? Its so funny how black celebrities are happy taking white people's money and admiration when times are good, yet its racist when they disapprove of an hour long, ego driven, ESPN special. People treat me like crap all the time, so where's Soledad to interview me?

    October 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clay78

      So that's your excuse for this? Is that your final answer?

      October 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malone

      Yes, you sound like you hate your life. White people's money? I was wrong, you don't hate your life, you don't have one.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
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