A Los Angeles home owned by basketball superstar LeBron James was vandalized early Wednesday morning, as police discovered someone had spray painted the n-word on the home’s front outer gate. Multiple LAPD units were sent to check on the home, and the department is looking through security footage to find out who was responsible for what is being initially called a hate crime. James bought the house in 2015, but neighbors say that he only appears at the house occasionally.
When asked about the incident at a press conference, James shifted the focus to the racial narrative in the United States: “I look at this as if this sheds a light and keeps the conversation going. My family is safe, that’s most important. Just shows that racism will always be a part of the world, part of America.” He also made reference to a fire-sparking moment in African-American history: “I think back to Emmett Till’s mom and the reason she had an open casket, she wanted to show the world what her son went through in terms of a hate crime in America. No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how much people admire you, being black in America is tough.” Till was 14 years old in 1955 when he was beaten and killed by two white men in Mississippi; Till’s death would become a fulcrum of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
James also reflected on his children growing up in the world, saying to ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols in a separate interview, “I just hope they understand that at the end of the day you have to always shed light on things that may seem like they’re at their darkest point.” James and the Cavaliers were in San Francisco preparing for the first game of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, scheduled for Thursday night.