A home owned by NBA star Lebron James was defaced with racist graffiti sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
James bought the home in 2015, but he doesn’t live in it “on a regular basis,” according to TMZ Sports, and wasn’t in the home at the time of the incident. Police are reportedly using surveillance footage from neighbors in an effort to find the perpetrator, who scrawled “N*gger” in spray paint across the front gates.
TMZ says that the graffiti has since been covered up, and there are, unsurprisingly, no apparent images of it on the web. After all, who wants to spread around that kind of stuff?
As for Lebron himself, he’s getting ready for the start of the NBA Finals, which happen later this week, according to TMZ.
Lebron plays with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will be facing the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in Oakland, California. This time around will mark Lebron’s seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
A source from within the local police department speaking to the New York Daily News indicated that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
This source said: “Oh, it’s a hate crime. It’s a person who has a problem with him, obviously. It’s an active case right now and detectives are there, going over the scene, looking for any video.”
Lending credence to the assertion that this incident is a hate crime is the fact that Lebron’s home is not in an area where things like this happen all the time.
The aforementioned source speaking to the New York Daily News confirmed that there haven’t been any incidents like this in the area recently, adding that there aren’t any suspects in the incident at Lebron’s home as of yet.
- LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman has said that officers responded to the call about the graffiti at about 6:45 AM local time, presumably just as the sun came up.
There has been a documented spike in hate crimes coinciding with Donald Trump’s rise to power. Of course, there isn’t any way to isolate the exact motive of the person who targeted James’s home at this time.
Check out some notable Twitter commentary on the incident below.
Yesterday LeBron James announced that he wanted to own an NBA team.
Today this happens. Hardly a coincidence. https://t.co/TyuJlDcpi7
— Nathaniel Friedman (@freedarko) May 31, 2017
Good reminder: even LeBron James, the most notbable black athlete in the world, ain't escaping racism. This is systemic not a few bad eggs.
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) May 31, 2017
Just catching up on the #LeBronJames vandalization incident, but I would hope every owner, coach + player in the league speaks out on this.
— Process Truster (@kateperkns) May 31, 2017
The psychology/pathology of racists is ASTOUNDING. They can love black athletes/entertainers while simultaneously despising their blackness.
— Jay Dav-O (@ChocnessMonsta) May 30, 2017
— This Is Life (@thisislife346) May 31, 2017
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain.