LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was the target of a hate crime early Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating after it was notified that the “N-word” was spray painted on the front gate of the home owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers star forward. Multiple LAPD units and neighborhood patrol vehicles responded to the home shortly before 7 a.m. after being notified by a neighbor. When officers arrived, the graffiti had been covered up.
The home is in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles and on Rockingham Avenue, the same street on which O.J. Simpson lived when he was arrested and charged with the murder of his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson later sold his home, and it was demolished by the new owners.
James was asked about the break-in while speaking to reporters during NBA Finals media day from Oakland where his Cleveland Cavaliers are preparing for Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. He said the incident shows “that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America” and that hate for African-Americans “is living every day.”
“If this is to shed the light and continue to keep the conversation going on my behalf, then I’m OK with it. 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. And even though that it’s concealed most of the time, we know people hide their faces and will say things about you — when they see you, they smile at your face. It’s alive every single day. … 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. 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.”
James purchased the 9,440-square foot house for just under $21 million in 2015, the year after he returned to Cleveland after four seasons with the Miami Heat. James’ main residence is in Akron, Ohio, where he was born.