Lebron James is speaking out after an unknown vandal sprayed racist graffiti on his LA home Wednesday morning.
Police are investigating after the N-word was spray-painted onto the front gate of his Los Angeles mansion before dawn.
The basketball star spoke out Wednesday afternoon at a media event for the NBA Finals in Oakland.
He said the crime shows ‘racism will always be part of the world and part of America.’
‘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 got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America.’
His family, he said, is safe and that is all that matters.
‘Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day. Even though that it’s concealed most of the time.’
He also mentioned the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till, 14, who was murdered for alleging whistling at a white woman.
‘I think back to Emmett Till’s mom actually. It’s one of the first things I thought of. The reason she had an open casket was because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America.’
Several LAPD units and a neighborhood patrol vehicle all converged on his home after it was called in at around 6.14am local timein the tony enclave of Brentwood.
‘A racial slur was painted on a private gate and when officers arrived the slur was already painted over by the property manager,’ the LAPD said in a statement.
‘The incident is being investigated and the officers have confirmed it is LeBron James’ home that was vandalized.’
James was not at the LA home when it was tagged.
Police are looking at neighbors’ security camera footage for clues to the culprit, and may investigate it as a hate crime.
James spoke about racism on May 3, after being asked about Orioles player Adam Jones suffering racist abuse.
‘Racism, we know, exists,’ he said, adding that ‘for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is going to be.
‘But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much and then they have to go out and live it themselves.
‘For me, I just try to be respectful, for one, be respectful to others. And I feel like if you do that consistently, then I believe the karma will come back to you.’
A source close to James told ESPN that it was ‘ignorance’.
‘Unfortunately in 2017 people still think the way they do,’ the source said. ‘I can’t say it’s surprising given what’s happened in this country the last eight months.
‘You can be a titan of industry, you can be a community leader, you can be the best at what you do and they can cut you down to just, ‘You’re black.”
James, a small forward for the Cavaliers who mostly spends his time in Cleveland, bought the mansion in 2015 for $21 million,Variety reported at the time.
Designed by mansion specialist Ken Ungar, its 9,350sqft spread includes six bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
The master bedroom shares a two-day fireplace with a conjoined sitting room, and the rear features a swimming pool, cabana and deck overlooking mountains.
He and the Cleveland Cavaliers face off against the Warriors in Oakland, California, on Thursday.