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. H8w8ting

    Who cares what the inbred racists think. Bron Bron is one of the best players in the history of the game. Any team in the league would love to have him.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • noshidx

      Nah.. I know the Spurs wouldn't want him.. and they are the last Dynasty in the NBA at the moment.. (the lakers may be creating another though).. Not every team wants him.. He has too much ego.. Only time he has made it to the NBA finals, he was swept by the Spurs 4-0. He needs to focus on building the players around him, rather then being concerned about being the best. He will be the best by building up a teams skill, instead of his own.

      October 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoopman

      @H8w8ting... Your joking... Right?? James has won NOTHING, so how is he even close to being one of the best players in NBA history???? Any team would love to have him? I live in Cleveland and I doubt that the Cavs would touch his sorry arrogant ass with a ten foot pole!!!!

      October 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gant

    Honestly People – Sounds like your one of those Wimps I had to keep defending in Jr High and HighSchool, cuz you didn't have it in you to defend yourself

    October 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ryanzzzz

    Obviously one needs thick skin, but it's a bit sickening that essentially al the comments approve or are indifferent to such hatred. shame on all of you and your kids.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lebron James

    Oh noes! I have been insulted on teh internets! This could be the first time in history such a thing has ever occurred! Alert the media!

    October 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dallas Represent

      hahaha! you are too much. Pretending to be Lebron.... Yeah so, im on the side that thinks Lebron should stop whining. We all live in the same society. We all face racism at some point in our lives. Get over it! You make millions a year to play a game (that we all love), we aren't gonna feel sorry for you! SERIOUSLY. GO MAVS

      October 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ruserious

    me thinks thou does protest to much...

    October 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CC

    Whats crazy to me is I watched Lebron with I think Larry King only because my husband is such a basketball nutcase, and I just thought this guy was calm, cool, collective, educated, mature, spoke well...so why exactly are folks hating
    because he made a profession move without permission....come on, you know haters will just hate. And the louder the rant, the more he is making moves in the right direction because those than can, do the rest spend time hating cuz they aren't doing. Sorry he is the dude with the contract, making hoops living the dream, as long as he stays off of the internet and doesn't play into this BS, it's all good. No bodies opinion matters, except mine of course. Do your thing Mr. James

    October 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I like the way you think, he should do whatever he likes, it's HIS life, if you don't like what he is doing, then find someone else to idolize you weekminded fools.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Saying race is always a factor is just another bias perpetuated by stereotypes. So some morons posted racist comments ... They deserve condemnation, but that doesn't make everyone else racist. Some people just believe LeBron is a classless whinner. Hopefully he can get his ring as a role player on D-Wade's team. Maybe then he'll shut up.

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

      Actually, most of us are ticked because of the classless way he handled that move. I don't care what color his skin is, he left the Cavaliers hanging while all other free agents were being snapped up. His demands over the years to get this player or that player maxed out the salary cap and then when he didn't get the results he wanted he walked away.
      I hate racists and it's appalling that people would send him those kinds of tweets. I'll stand up for him and say that. As for everything else I hope that he has a long career of nearly reaching the top of the mountain only to get knocked down each time by Kobe and the Lakers or any other team in the league.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boog3030

      That was well said if I do say so myself!

      October 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary


      I agree totally!

      October 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clevelanders

      @brad– it's weak minded you fool not week minded. When fans buy their hard earned money to watch him play he owes them some sort of loyalty, when he spends 7 years saying he's going to win a championship for Cleveland then justs leaves(after laying down in the playoffs) he shows no class. yes he can do whatever he pleases, he should learn to do it with a little class though.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NetNinja

    I agree with one poster.

    Get off all those MyPlace, Yourface and noplace type websites. If people want to follow you they can do it the old fashioned way by reading it in the paper. Stay off the Web.

    LeBron James can do whatever he wants, it's his life and in the end if he wants to move to another team where he has a chance of winning a championship then so be it. At the end of the day it's his decision.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      I SO agree, why do folks have the need to tell this man how to live his life....strange

      October 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      @ CC: it is because their existance is so sad, so full of nothing, so pathetic; their minds so small, simple, and uneducated, that name calling, ridiculing, and butting into other peoples buisness is all they have. I feel sorry for these pathetic people. Oh well, better them then me.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cleveland fan

      No brad it's because they spend their hard earned money on tickets and lebron gear to wear, only to have the man who swore he'd stay in Cleveland until we won a championship, simply and arrogantly leave. It would be different if the Cavs sucked and had no chance of winning but when he was here the Cavs were a top tier team. People outside of the Cleveland area don't seem to understand that it wasn't so much that he left, but how he left. He has the right to play where he pleases. But when you go on local tv and say you have no intention of leaving and the 3 days later your gone and turn around and mock the city that cheered for you for 7 years, it justs shows how little class he has.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. D.Moore

    Heyyy Ive met a couple of big lipped big nose ghetto white ppl and Im glad I have big nose full lips and breed in the ghetto!!!Isnt botox.....All thats a whole nother subject!!

    October 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      Well said.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lh

    The backlas isn't about him joing the Heat...it's the arrogant diva way he went about it! That's been said a million times...he just doesn't get it!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Non believer

    Learon has herpes

    October 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. duke

    Stop complaining and break the spirit of every white player you come across this season, no mercy!!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Meep

    I still do not get why Cleveland is angry with LeBron. Maybe because the city is trash heap with no other redeemable qualities, but why should he care? It's all about the Benjamins.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Itʻs all about getting on a real team!

      October 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bossfat

    My opinion is IF Lebron played 7 yrs for his hometown and now wants to venture out to a new team, Whats the problem. Obvioulsy he wants to try something new. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm all for It James. Make sure you always do what make you happy. Please yourself 1st and the rest 2nd. If the Coach and ur team mates aren't happy for you. They must think they can't win without you . Team mates you can still win without Lebron maybe not every game.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Seven years is to long. So go LeBron! Now you are on a real team!

      October 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • factfinder10

      its not the fact that LeBron chose to go to another team... that decision is highly respected. You have to do what makes you happy rather than live to please others. Majority of the public is upset about the way he chose to leave his hometown. Having an hourlong special on ESPN was NOT necessary to announce that he was going to Miami (which everyone basically already knew). That was an embarassment to Cleveland and a slap in the face to all the Cavaliers supporters. That is why many people are upset !

      October 20, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ctreid

    I wish I had Lebrons problems.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. duke

    Oh the hypocrisy,
    Noone hates the owner who ship players off in the middle of the night,but you don't like lebron raising money for the boy's club,or thumbing his nose at massa!!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ic0n2900

      Good point.
      to add to that.
      Isn't ESPN suppose to be a sports news channel? Shouldn't the reporters or network know that it literally takes less than 5 seconds to say, "i'm taking my talents to south beach". If someone gave me an hour of camera time to promote myself (and I guess raise money for charity like he did) I'm sure as hell taking it.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • xactomundo

      you are kidding with the "massa" line right? We are 140 years past slavery and 40 years past the civil rights act. No one alive today has even a grandparent that was a slave, and there are no mutton-chopped dandies ordering you around and whipping you. there is racism (and even more class struggle) all over the world including here in many forms, but anyone under 35 using that as an excuse for their decisions is just lazy and selfish.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
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