On Wednesday morning, LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized with racist graffiti. James was not at the house. On Wednesday afternoon, James faced the media for the first time since the incident and delivered a thoughtful response to the racist vandalism.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, James thought back to Emmett Till, who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at 14 years old, and made a moving statement about race in America.
“As I sit here on the eve of one of the greatest sporting events that we have in sports, race and what’s going on comes again. On my behalf and my family’s behalf, but I look at it as this — if this is a shed of light to continue to keep the conversation going on my behalf, then I’m OK with it. My family is safe. They’re safe and that’s the most important.
“But it just 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. And even though it’s concealed most of the time. We know people hide their faces and will say things about you when they see that smile on your face. It’s alive every single day. I think back to Emmett Till’s mom actually and the reason that she had an open casket is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America. 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. We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America.”
According to USA TODAY Sports, the LAPD is still investigating the incident. No arrests have been made as of Wednesday afternoon.