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. Corvus1

    Racism is wrong, bullying is wrong, but I find it difficult to muster any sympathy for LJ. Rich male celebs are as powerful and privileged as you can get.

    That said, hopefully white kid gets hit by a speeding truck and the world is less one racist twit.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hoodie

    CNN, please tell me how this is news? It's almost as though you think LeBron James is the only professional athlete, or famous person for that matter, that receives racist comments. And you obviously haven't gotten the clue that America is sick of this clown! Just read most of these posts.....

    October 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mojomomma

    There is no place for this evil hater bullsh!t anymore everybody needs to step back and take a good long look at everything and especially thier heart to take an inventory of all the values thier morals thier limits and thier beliefs get a hold of ourselves as a nation and a people get out and vote everone capable how can we complain about our rights being taken away when the most important right we dont exercise our most basic right as americans lets try patriotism again

    October 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. canubelieveit

    Question, How can it be racially charged tweet when they don't know who did it. Is it racially charged if someone from your own race sends the tweet. Let's not make this into white against black. Lets put it exactly what it was. A total idiot who tweeted insensitive moronic words.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PeteK

    I've been a Lebron fan since he entered the league. I'm white. Uh oh. I think him goin to the Heat will end up presenting some awesome highlight reel material and some exciting moments. However, I do think he should have handled it better. Not only did he stick a dagger in those peoples hearts but he slapped them in the face while doing it.
    He doesn't deserve racist attacks for it though! Do racist white people really watch the NBA?! Lol wow slim picking on who to cheer for right. I did wonder why in the hell the actually produce Kyle Korver and Adam Morrison jerseys. Now I know why...

    I wish Lebron the best with Miami and I'll be watching. Kevin Durant is the man to really watch though. Beastin!!

    And for the weirdos sayin all white people are racist lol...

    October 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WokkaWokka

    All white people ARE racist. ALL. Every single one. Get yo pale ass off the court cuz it blindin the good (black) players

    October 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • LeChoke

      Another ignorant A$$ that plays the race card...im white and not even close bro,far from it too so i can see idiots like you a mile away!

      October 20, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • WokkaWokka

      Spoken like a true white devil. Keep proving me right

      October 20, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billybob

      @WokkaWokka- a tall tree and some short rope will quell your black ass down boy!!!

      October 21, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. LeChoke

    LeChoke wants attn 24/7 ...pos or neg....kid is a mess! Quit reporting on this goof,4 and 5 yr olds hate him even! Leave him for the Miami news,CNN should not be all over a NBA player this frequent,how much attn does he need to be satisfied already,give it up!

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

    blacks are more racist than whites!

    October 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WokkaWokka

    Blacks aren't racist! They're defensive. White people have created all the hate in the world!

    October 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mg

    Adande: "black athletes playing for white owners" sounds bad, yes? You sure have a way of twisting the facts to serve your point. It sounds like they are abused by these "white owners" and forced into a dismal existence of hard labor. If being abused means getting paid millions of dollars and fulfilling a life long dream by doing what you love, can somebody please abuse me too? So, Andande...in the past, the NBA featured mostly white players and that was racist, I think we all agree. Now that the league features mostly black players, you're still saying it's a racist league? Really? Which is it? Look for anything hard enough and eventually you'll find a way to make it appear. Stop being a part of the problem. I know it's not a perfect world and there is still a lot of racism in America, by both blacks and whites, I'm not denying that, but let's not overshadow the real problem by pretending the NBA is running a work camp. LeBron, I'm sorry that some idiot was being...an idiot. Extremist have a loud voice because, well the're extreme, but they are the exception NOT the rule. Being loud and making outrageous statements makes their numbers seem larger than they really are, but they are outnumbered by the sanity of most Americans.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    He probably made that twitter account himself to send him the messages and now deleted the account.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • LeChoke

      Your probably right,he is running out of ideas to get camera time,good call! LOL

      October 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • WokkaWokka

      Deny deny deny huh? So common amongst whites.

      October 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    It wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened (creating a fake incident).

    October 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. seam

    It's so easy these days for people to hide behind a screen name and type a bunch of trash. These people are low life, jobless losers. Get a life, and grow up. Take care of your own decisions and stop hating others'.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. black texas

    Sick white boys

    October 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mayor

      They still have blacks in Texas???? What, did they run out of trees?????

      October 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry - Indiana

    Sorry LeBron, I think you will fall on your face in Miami. Many before you have tried to build a super team, and other than the New York Yankees of the Ruth and Mantle eras, most of the others have failed.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
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