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'N-Word' Sprayed on LeBron James' L.A. Home

The “n-word” spray-painted on LeBron James’ home serves as a reminder that “racism will always be a part of America,” the NBA superstar said.


According to Los Angeles police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman, shortly after dawn on Wednesday it was reported that a racial slur was on the front gate of James’ house in west Los Angeles. Investigators are looking for any possible suspect involved.

Reuters reported that Eisenman declined to specify the racial slur used. However, a source familiar with the incident told NBC News that the slur was the “n-word.” The graffiti has since been painted over.

James was not at his residence at the time of the vandalism, Eisenman said.

At a news conference Wednesday in Oakland, Calif., where James and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates were preparing for Game 1 of the NBA finals on Thursday, he responded to questions about the racist incident.

“My family is safe,” he said. “At the end of the day, they’re safe and that’s the most important.”

He also talked candidly about racism in the U.S.

“Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living everyday,” he said.

“Even though it’s concealed most of the time, even though people hide their faces, and will say things about you, [but] when they see you they smile in your face, it’s alive every single day.”

But it was in an interview with ESPN that James, 32, a three-time NBA champion, conveyed what many professional African Americans experience — being at the pinnacle of a career you’ve worked hard for, yet still having to combat racism from others.

“For me to be sitting here on the eve of the [NBA] finals, one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and I have to answer questions about racism, it just lets me know that it’s still here and we should all know that,” he said.

“And if it takes for someone to spray paint my gate, and use that derogatory term, that hate on my family, to shed a light on what the real issue is in the world, then so be it.

“I believe that’s why women like Emmett Till’s mom left the casket open and showed everybody in the world what her son went through because of hate.

“It hurts, and it’s unfortunate. And, I’ve got to sit here and talk to my kids about what it means to grow up being an African American, a Black kid, in America.”

James said that for Blacks, especially Black men, there isn’t a level of success that can repel racism in the U.S.

“No matter how much money you’ve got, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, at the end of the day, being a Black man in America is very frightening, and lets us know that we have so much further to go.”

James has a history of speaking out against injustice. In July, he and other high-profile professional basketball players, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, used the ESPY awards ceremony in Los Angeles as a platform to do so.

“It’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves ‘What are we doing to create change'” James said.

He said at the time that professional athletes must reach back to their communities.

“Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT [Greatest of All Time],” he said. “But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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