It is a conversation that is difficult yet necessary: Racism.
For LeBron James, that conversation was had in depth after someone spray pained the N-word all over his Brentwood home. In a new interview with GQ magazine, the November cover star opened up about the emotional discussion with his sons and daughter.
“It’s heavy when a situation occurs either with myself or with someone in a different city, i.e., Trayvon, Mike Brown. I have to go home and talk to my 13- and 10-year-old sons, even my 2-year-old daughter, about what it means to grow up being an African-American in America,” he said about feeling the “twoness” in America.
He continued, “Because no matter how great you become in life, no matter how wealthy you become, how people worship you, or what you do, if you are an African-American man or African-American woman, you will always be that.”
James explained, “True colors will show, and it showed for me during the playoffs, where my house in Brentwood, California, one of the f*cking best neighborhoods in America, was vandalized with, you know, the N-word. And that shit puts it all back into perspective. So do I use my energy toward that? Or do I now shed a light on how I can use this negative to turn into a positive, because so many people are looking for what I’m going to say.”
That’s when he unveiled, “I had a conversation with my kids. I let them know this is what it is, this is how it’s going to be. When it’s time for y’all to fly, you’ll have to understand that. When y’all go out in public and y’all start driving or y’all start moving around, be respectful to cops, as much as you can. When you get pulled over, call your mom or dad, put it on speakerphone, and put your phone underneath the seat. But be respectful the whole time.”
Earlier this year multiple LAPD units responded to James’ California home when neighbors saw the word scrawled on the outer gate. At the time, James suggested that when it comes to racial inequality, “we have a long way to go.”
Click here to read James’ entire GQ article.