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. Leo Smith

    Man you good with me,but its just like a typical white person to pull the race card. Its your life live it and to get your revenge get a ring. You didn't have any help in cleveland anyway I would burned off too. Tell wade to keep up the good work.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Carlton

    Well this is what blacks in America have to deal with and overcome on a daily basis. Many but not all white people in America act as if this is not the norm or what use to happen. Things are definitely not as bad as they use to be but nevertheless this is a reality for blacks in this country. By the way it doesn't matter who you are or how successful you are as a black person to experience this kind of hatred. I would like to get some truthful responses on this post from some whites as to how they feel about this and the basis for this kind of hatred towards blacks.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      I can give you a truthful response... I think playing the race card every time something doesn't go your way is total crap. Lebron acted like a spoiled brat during the playoffs and an egomaniac with 'the decision' so he is going to catch some heat for it. As for the state of things in this country today, I think that right now black people are making it worse and not better. Yes, a hundred years ago things were horrible and I don't agree with what happened one bit, but I didn't do anything to anyone. The more that black people keep hanging on to what my great great great grandfather did to their great great great grandfather the longer this crap exists. You aren't a slave and I'm not an owner. We are both just people and until EVERYONE, including black people can accept that then nothing will ever get better. My advice to everyone is to just shut up, live your life, and stop griping so much.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Glo

    What a bunch of nuts. As long as you live your life according to what white americans (not all) think it should be then you are ok. Thank God people can make their own choices.

    When you continue to hate and teach hate this world will forever be the same. All the haters need to go back to wherever their families came from don't say this is where you came from not true because it was taken from the indians. I know you want admit to that. Are you so afraid other people because they don't have white skin?

    October 21, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Oh wow – a racially charged 'Tweet'?? Are you serious? Is this supposed to make me feel sorry for this tool?

    Try again.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mickey Mouse

    People suck. That's why I'm a mouse.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. dwigt schrute

    Hey for $40 million/yr, I'll let anyone call me whatever they want. Hell I'll thrown in a couple free punches too.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. AM

    I spent one week on business in Cleveland several years ago...I was glad to leave...I can understand Lebron's decision.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Yuli

    This isnt about racism. This is about stupid people, and those come in every shape, size and colour.

    Toronto lost Bosh, but Canadians are not stupid enough to get involved in a worthless debate and controversey such as this one.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. dwigt schrute

    Maybe DWade will come to the rescue and fight all these mean people for you Lebron.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shane

    He's a business person doing what is best for his business. People need to wrap their heads around that.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. scott d

    I bet lebron always asks to sit in a booth... and tips 5%

    October 21, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. n0tImpressed

    You can't take 2 or 3 racially discriminatory tweets and say it represents "the world". That's the king of all intellectual mistakes. Besides, if a white guy left his team for another in the same way LeBron did – I believe he would get a very similar response!!!

    October 21, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Slade

    The best comment, by far "Why are you turning beat red over Lebron?". It should be beet but that is besides the point. That is funny.

    Complaining about race gives all of the simpletons (simpleton = a foolish or gullible person) something to huff and puff about. Get beyond it if you can...or remain huff'in and puff'in simpletons.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • The Ni$$@ U Love 2 Hate

      Thanks Slade, I thought about the spelling after the post, where's the edit button?!

      True indeed, simpletons will be simpletons, racists will be racist, whites will be white (no matter how much tanning, botox, and butt injections they receive), blacks are the lost tribe of Judah.

      Sad irony about our lost History is, that the few that find out about it are proud of the "accomplishments" that were made. But it was that same pride in those "accomplishments" that brought the wrath of God on us in the first place that has lead to our current predicament (Deuteronomy Chapter 28).

      Wake up people (black/white/latino/asian). Humble yourselves, Love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

      October 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DJ in TX

    People talking about money – he would have made MORE if he stayed in Cleveland. He took less money to join Wade and Bosh. Then Haslem took less money to stay with the Heat as well. Both James and Bosh could have made way more money by going elsewhere. But they wanted to win championships and took less money to do so. True the way Lebron did it was a bit cheesy, but it wasn't about money.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. scott d

    it wasn't about money??? really??? He's one of the greediest men in sports... not about money, that's funny! yeah he does it for the love of the game...

    October 21, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
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