LeBron James the star NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers has become more and more willing over the years to address political as well as social issues.
He denounced the police killings of black men and chose a candidate to support for the presidential election last year by endorsing Hillary Clinton.
The difficult as well as pointed topics that can grip the country are now familiar territory for the superstar. However, after arriving in Oakland, California to play Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, James told the media he has become upset and distracted from the huge challenge he and his teammates have facing them when they play the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship.
The finals begin Thursday but Wednesday James was addressing reporters saying he just wanted to be around his children.
James spoke about something that was killing him inside and was referring to a racial slur that police on Wednesday said had been painted on James’ home’s front gates in Los Angeles.
Hours after that had been disclosed James spoke at a news conference that became both emotional and frank. He said the vandalism had illustrated difficulties faced by black people in America.
He said regardless of the amount of money one has, or how famous one is, or how well you are admired, being black in the U.S. is tough.
A spokesperson for the LAPD said the vandalism at the home of James was under investigation as being a hate crime and that the slur was painted over by property managers.
A report by a Cleveland newspaper said that James’ family – his wife and three children – had been at their home in Ohio when the vandalism occurred.
James said that he saw an opportunity following the incident to address this issue that he called important to him.
During the past several NBA seasons, James has taken advantage of being the most visible star player in the league to voice his opinions on matters that many times do not involve playing basketball.
His growing willingness to express what is on his mind sets him apart from other stars in eras previous to him such as Michael Jordan.
James, who has been named the MVP of the NBA four times, won the league’s annual citizenship award in April for the efforts he has made in improving the educational opportunities in Akron, Ohio, which is his hometown.