American Basketball Player Speaks On Racism In US
American NBA superstar LeBron James gave an emotional speech about racial discrimination in America after his home in Los Angeles was vandalised with racial slurs.
According to several media reports, the Police has commenced an investigation to find the person(s) who painted the hate comment on the gate of his house, although the Cavaliers player was not home at the time of the incident.
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Speaking at a media conference ahead of the first game of the finals series, the 32-year old who appeared distressed by the incident said:
“My family is safe, at the end of the day 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 every day. Even though it’s concealed most of the time, you know people hide their faces and will say things about you and when they see you they smile in your face, it’s alive every single day.”
LeBron James further said he has come to terms with the incident if it can “shed a light” on the racial issues still present in the United States even evoking the fatal lynching of Emmett Till in 1955.
The brutal killing of the 14-year old African-American became one of the historical events that opened the eyes of Americans towards racism, hate crimes, discriminatio, and prejudice. After Till was horrifically beaten, shot and thrown into a river with a fan tied to him with barbed wire, the two white men accused of murdering him were aquited by an all-white jury in Mississippi.
LeBron James said Till’s mother was one of the first things he thought of after the incident as he continued.
“The reason she had an open casket [at the funeral] is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America.
“It’s like … 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’ve got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America.”
LeBron James reportedly bought the house in 2015 for over $US20 million, but the 9,440-square-foot home is not his primary residence. He lives in Bath, Ohio – his native home.
In 2015, the basketball superstar and his production company signed a developmental deal with Warner Brothers worth $US15 million that meant he spends more time in Southern California. He was said to have spent several weeks in Los Angeles in 2016 working with his production company, but said he would not be with his children — sons LeBron Jr, 12, and Bryce Maximus, nine, and daughter Zhuri, two — for a week.
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Expressing his deep sadness James said:
“My little girl’s too young to understand it right now, but I can’t sit in front of my boys right now and I won’t be home until next week.
“This is kind of killing me inside right now, but my wife is unbelievable. My mother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, they’re doing a great job of talking to them.”