LeBron James’ house and home in Brentwood, California, was vandalized with racist graffiti using the N-word. The Cleveland Cavaliers player is preparing to go up against the Golden State Warriors, and on Thursday morning, James attended a news conference about the NBA finals. Instead of being asked how he’d deal with competition like Draymond Green, the first question was all about racism in America.
The vandalism of LeBron James’ house took place on early Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. An LAPD spokesperson said the call about the vandalism came in, and when officers went to the Brentwood home, they discovered that “the N-word had been spray-painted on James’ private gate.”
“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is tough,” James responded when asked about the graffiti. “And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”
The N-word had already been painted over by Wednesday afternoon, but the worse damage was to James’ family. The Cavs player says “this is kind of killing me inside right now” since he can’t be home with his sons and daughter because the house is not the family’s main residence. While James plans on speaking to his kids using FaceTime, James’ wife had to explain to the children what had happened and James is frustrated because he “can’t sit in front of my boys right now.”
“My family is safe,” he said during the press conference. “At the end of the day they’re safe, and that’s the most important…. At the end of the day, they’re going to have to walk their own path. And hopefully I give them enough life skills throughout their journey where, when they’re ready to fly, they can fly on their own.”
The NBA player also spoke in general about hate crimes in America, referencing how the mother of Emmett Till chose to have an open-casket funeral so witnesses could see the devastating effect that racism can have. LeBron believes that racism “will always be a part of the world, a part of America.”
“Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day,” James claimed. “And even though it’s concealed most of the time, even though people hide their faces, when they see you will smile in your face, it’s alive every day.”
The vandalism of LeBron James’ house is the second time in 2017 that the Cleveland Cavaliers player has had to deal with the issue of racism. In May, the Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones was allegedly heckled with racist comments while playing in a game at Boston’s Fenway Park, and reporters asked the NBA player what he thought about the incident.
“It’s not great for sports. It’s not great for society. You got guys like Martin Luther King, who all he talked about was trying to unite all of us — no matter the color, no matter the race, no matter the shape or size Racism is gonna be a part of time forever, I believe, but I think for us, the people that have the opportunities to have a voice and people that have an opportunity to have some play on the youth that’s coming up, we have to lead them the best way we can, and we have to live with the results, so hopefully I was able to answer your question. It’s a real, real longer conversation, but if we can keep the conversation going, I think it helps.”
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]