Lebron James recently became the hot topic a day before the much-awaited second rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. However, it had little to do with the three-time NBA champion’s skills on the court.
Apparently, James was all over the news after someone had the guts to vandalize his Los Angeles mansion with racial slurs.
James has since broken his silence regarding the issue, taking the high road and calmly delivering an inspiring message about the sensitive topic.
If you think about it, racism has always been a part of the professional league; players and basketball personalities are subject to discrimination. On certain occasions, the same people who are tasked to be ambassadors for the sport cross the line and become racists themselves.
1) Jeremy Lin
One of the few players of Asian descent, the Brooklyn Nets point guard admitted that he was still harassed in the NBA for his racial background. These included fans, fellow players, and even coaches, who mocked Lin's prominent oriental features, particularly his eyes.
However, this was nothing compared to what he experienced during his college days.
2) Dennis Rodman, Larry Bird
In the '80s, Rodman of the Detroit Pistons was interviewed after his team got schooled by the Bird-led Boston Celtics. He blurted out something along the lines of: if the NBA legend was black, he would not be as celebrated as he is.
Things went out of hand when Isiah Thomas piggybacked on his teammate's comment. The Pistons captain and Bird had to hold a joint press conference to end the issue.
3) Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming
Nobody can contest the fact that Shaq is simply a guy who loves to crack jokes and make people laugh. Being the joker that he is, Diesel once threw racial potshots at the expense of his former rival, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming.
The ex-Los Angeles Clippers owner was living the good life, until a leaked audio of him conversing with his girlfriend revealed his extreme racist attitude towards black people back in 2014.
Due to this, Sterling was banned from the NBA, lost his proprietorship of the team, and was asked to pay a fine of $2.5 million. Ouch.
Even the GOAT himself, His Airness, admitted that he used to be racist when he was younger.
But all people can change and Jordan proved this last year when he finally used his influence as a basketball personality to speak out against the rampant police brutality against African-Americans.