LeBron James has been at the forefront of professional athletes taking more control of the trajectory of their respective careers and using their platform to spread a message or bring awareness to a social issue.
Not only has James largely avoided scandals up to what’s now his 16th season in the NBA, but he’s also spearheaded or been part of several off-the-court business ventures as well. However, James has caused a bit of an uproar over the past week.
It began when he was asked about a theoretical scenario of Anthony Davis joining him on the Los Angeles Lakers, which James understandably said he would embrace. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry and some general managers attested James violated the league’s tampering rules.
He responded by naming Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, among others, as players he would like to have as teammates. Just as that was beginning to blow over, James inadvertently had a misstep on social media.
A video posted to his Instagram account as a story included a typed lyric, “We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher.” The line is from “ASMR” by rapper 21 Savage.
James has since issued an apology over the matter, which he explained did not come with an intent to insult anyone, and is unlikely to be fined for, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone,” James told ESPN following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 107-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. “That’s not why I chose to share that lyric. I always (post lyrics). That’s what I do. I ride in my car, I listen to great music and that was the byproduct of it. So, I actually thought it was a compliment and obviously it wasn’t through the lens of a lot of people. My apologies. It definitely was not the intent, obviously, to hurt anybody.”
There’s no indication that the NBA has any plans to fine James, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As James noted, he regularly posts videos of himself as a passenger in a car with music playing in the background. James will often dance to the song that’s playing and/or type out a caption, usually giving his stamp of approval to the song or artist.
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