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. Really?

    No one cares... Basketball is a sport for p***ies anyways. Go back to playing with your balls quietly.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. kkk

    Cnn sucks

    October 21, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bobby

    Poor Lebron....he is a rich man being called racist names and has a public forum to combat it.... too bad so many others do not have the money and the forum, but are still victims of racism

    October 21, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mickey

    Foolish children.. Rich or poor.. Black or White.. Old or young... Still foolish, foolish, ignorant, hypocrites.. Cowards and Tyrants all over this post.. I'm calling you all out. Pick up your cross. Jesus Loves us, get real.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. CuriousGeorge

    Why is it when a black man calls another black man a n****r it's no big deal but when it's a white man he's a racist? Can you please tell me the color of the Tweeter before you go spouting off that it's racist.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lisa

    I miss Michael Jordan 🙁

    October 21, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Old guy

      I miss those days, these days players seem to do nothing but cause drama outside the court.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      Larry Bird

      October 21, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    Oh Lebron, you don't know a troll when it trolls you?

    October 21, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    And he's the bad guy in all this?

    October 21, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Cyd

      Right Matt! How in the world is this his fault. I blame the franchise for putting Labron on a pedestal. This is a grown man, and he has to do what is best for him and his family. Screw the Cavaliers and the rest of Nasayers! Labron do what you do the best and forget the rest. Michael Jordan and Larry Byrd have had their turn, it's Labron's turn, by the way he's much better than both of them.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • notwhite

      @Cyd, it's LEBRON you big dope... and don't blame the franchise. Franchise build their team franchise around certain individual or individuals, they market it and make money. Same formula the Buls used on Jordan, Celtics on Bird, Lakers on Kobe and Magic, and so on, in any other professioanl sport. That's why they are called franchise players!!! Unfortunately LBJ doesn't believe in himself enough to stay as a Cavaliers franchise palyer... he's after a ring so bad and he doesn't think he can do it without a true franchise player like Wade is !!!!

      October 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Koppe22

    How many times does this guy have to speak in 3rd person for you people to realize what an idiot he is? It has nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with his inflated ego and sense of self worth. You are not Jordan and you will never be . Atleast MJ tried to hide his ego.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Cyd

      Oh I suppose Larry Byrd and Michael Jordan didn't have inflated egos. YEAH RIGHT! Larry Byrd was a racist as well...Duh You make millions of dollars playing basketball very well, along with fame and celebrity that goes with that. How could you not have an ego. Anybody would. Labron is young and he will grown into maturity nicely.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • SoSad

      Larry BIRD and MJ did have inflated egos. You're correct there. Where do you get that Bird is a racist? Cuz he's white? You do realize that mentality is racist. Rise above the nonsense and quit being simple minded. Lebron had every right to leave. He just could have been more respectful about it. I mean i'm glad they created this monster line up and I'm excited to see them play but he could have shown some love to the people who have adored him for the last 7 years and left on better terms.

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

    For commenter "Really". You clearly have never played basketball. I would pay to see that highly comedic event just to see the expression on your face.
    Lebron is a great guy on and off the court and this was Cleveland's great loss, indeed. It's so easy to criticize in the abstract but most any of us would have decided just like him or many other athletes(in each own's best interests).

    October 21, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Amy

    There are stupid people willing to hide behind stupid 'tweets'. And OF COURSE it's a race issue- what ISNT a race issue when you've got that card to play? There is good and bad, intelligent/productive and ignorant/nonproductive people in society... who really cares about "your professional athletic self" getting tweets from idiot/ignorant/uneducated/over opinionated people? It happens to all of society. White, black, purple. (should I put black first so I'm not considered racist?) We are all victims of ignorance spewing around in society. Get off your high horse (I hope it's a black horse, so we dont have to hear another racisim complaint) and PLAY BALL.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Big Lippped naga

    He deserves every bit of it.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kenny

    Poor baby!!

    October 21, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. The Ni$$@ U Love 2 Hate

    All my white brothers,

    Why are you turning beet 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 impersonators 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 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim Dominic

    There is no excuse for the racism and hate being directed at LeBron James.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
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