LeBron James didn’t mince his words when discussing the racist graffiti painted at his Los Angeles home Wednesday morning.
Several hours after the LAPD responded to the vandalism that included the N-word, James told a press conference: “It goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America.
“Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living everyday,” the Cleveland Cavaliers star said.
James was speaking the day before his team faces the Golden State Warriors to defend their NBA title, marking the third time in a row that the teams have faced each other in the Finals.
The sports icon, “Trainwreck” star and brand ambassador — who has an estimated net worth of $400 million — went on to say that the incident reminded him of 1955 lynching-victim Emmett Till’s mother, who insisted that her son have an open coffin at his funeral so people could not ignore the brutality of the killing.
“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough,” James told reporters. “And we’ve got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal.”
“I like to do face-to-face-conversations when it comes to a situation like this,” James said, when explaining how he told his sons about it the racial slurs. “But 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.”
“Time heals all … if this incident that happened to me and my family today can keep the conversation going and can shed light on us trying to figure out a way to keep progressing and not regressing, then I’m not against it happening to us again,” the 32-year-old superstar added. “I mean it’s as long as my family is safe.”
The LAPD is currently investigating the incident at James’ home and could possibly label it a hate crime, Media Relations Officer Jefferson told TheWrap.
The department received a call at 6:14 a.m. Wednesday morning, Jefferson said. An officer responded to the call, but the racial-slur graffiti as reported to the police had already been painted over by an unknown person.
James, a native of Akron, Ohio, does not reside at the home on any sort of a regular basis.
According to the LA Times, he bought the 9,440-square-foot Brentwood estate in 2015. Records show it sold for about $21 million. It was built in 2011 and designed by architect Ken Ungar.