Early Wednesday morning, the gate to the L.A. home of basketball star LeBron James was discovered vandalized with the n-word spray-painted across it. In the afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers player addressed the situation during a press conference, filmed by Sports Illustrated.
James confirmed that his family was safe – they were not at the property when the vandalism took place - before considering the crime's broader implications. "It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America," he said. "Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, it's living everyday.
"Even though it's concealed most of the time, people hide their faces and will say things about you [but] when they see you they'll smile in your face, it's alive every day."
James cited the example of Mamie Till, the mother of Emmett Till, as his reason for openly discussing what had happened. "She wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime, and being black in America," he said (Emmett Till was a 14 year-old boy lynched in Mississippi in 1955).
"Being black in America is tough, James said before concluding. "We got a long way to go before us as a society, and us as African Americans feel equal in America."
Thumbnail photo by Ezra Shaw for Getty Images