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. Rita

    This had nothing to do with race till CNN and Soledad O'Brien turned it into a race issue.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • zippernuggets

      LeBron made it a race issue and CNN that that other fella just made it worse then what it is, a man who likes to have his name in all forms of media at all times, least we forget about him when his team looses.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ic0n2900

      It actually became about race when a list of the top hated athletes according to a poll came out and it was easily noted that the top 6 or 7 were all black. Even though certain steroid abusers, snitches and rapist (Ben Rothylberger) could have easily been in the top 5. Lebron was number 6 on the list.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dan

    Yeah the comment was F-ed up but real simple, if you can't handle the heat get off the net. you're a public figure there are gonna be people that hate you. you bring it on yourself by being on twitter.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    I think it is sad that these athletes are treated in such a horrific manner by so-called "fans" of the sport. These are not real fans; they are ignorant fools.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zippernuggets

    How much more can we take of him? He likes to have his name in the media at all times, publicity hound that he is. We in NE Ohio are getting over him, he needs to get over himself.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Clay78

    Yeah his hour long special was a little extreme for the norm and maybe you can make the argument it was egotistical, most of the people throwing stones sat through the "The Decision" one, for two if he gone back to Cleavland everyone would view it different (Cavs fan and sympathizers), and for three if you can use your ego to raise millions of dollars for the Boys and Girls Club then hey I say rerun the decision over and over if it will help a worthy cause. So believe it or not race was a factor in some of the hate he received because he made some racist people (even those who don't admit there racist until they get mad at someone from another ethnic group) mad amongst other people. To some "Lebron got out of his "place" and we where giving all the praise and adoration he wanted." You built the sports/media mogul, deal with him.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wade morris

    If all else fails – claim racial bias. Whiner !!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ariz

    "I think so, at times," James responded. "[There's] always a race factor"

    Hmm.... good thing he's good at basketball...

    October 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mikeweezer

    Lebron.... Obvious troll is obvious.
    Celebrities shouldn't partake in social media, it will only bring the crazies a bit closer to you.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DPW

    The account was closed because it was his own account. He used it just so he could pull the "Race Card" out. We are so persecuted. Shut up Lebron. Show with your play.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BroadCasting

    Lebron has the right to work where he wants like anyone else. He needs to do what's best for himself and his family. He should tell the ignorant asses to just suck his big black nose if they don't like it.

    Good luck Lebron!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mullyman

    you can't prove the tweet is from anyone. he could have sent him himself. it is funny how its racist about him but all these other black players don't have the same comments. kevin durant.....180 opposite of lbj.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Yankee Thunder

    If he didn't act all ghetto then people wouldn't think he was all ghetto. Nobody ever said these things about Michael Jordan and people actually respect the guy. Do you know why? Because Jordan has class- something LeBron will never know about. It's a shame money can't buy class like it can buy all that ghetto bling. Tweet that, James.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. B Hole Bugs

    L2PK Lebron

    October 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. duke

    Denial,works just the same as a hood and a robe!!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sthflachk

    wow, like its white people's fault black people don't buy tickets to games or buy teams. like its the white mans fault that black men are better players....waaaaahwaaaahwaaaaaah

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