Days before he will play in his seventh straight NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James had his Los Angeles-area offseason domestic vandalized with a racial slur, according to multiple reports.
Los Angeles Police Department detectives are investigating an alleged dislike crime after someone spray-painted the N-word on the front gate of James’ house in Brentwood, Calif. TMZ Sports first reported the incident, which has since been confirmed by the LAPD through the local NBC affiliate.
Police were called to the domestic around 7 a.m. local time, and the racially charged graffiti was painted over within hours of its discovery, according to reports. Investigators are reportedly seeking security footage from other homes in the upscale neighborhood in hopes of identifying a suspect.
Dozens of active and ex-NBA players, whether not more, compose their offseason homes in the Los Angeles area. James purchased the house in 2015 and does not live there regularly, according to TMZ Sports.
James has been vocal in his support for racial equality during his career, most notably at the 2016 ESPY Awards, when he joined fellow NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade in calling for political action in the wake of multiple police shootings of African-American men as well as the shooting of five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas during the summer of 2016.
“We know racism is still alive,” James said in a 2014 interview with CNN, following the NBA’s ouster of former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling over racist remarks caught on tape, “and the only thing that I can effect as a role model — I feel like I’m a leader in society — is just to teach my kids and teach the people who follow me what the right way is.”
Brentwood has its own complicated history with race. The L.A. neighborhood was domestic to O.J. Simpson and the site of the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The O.J. Simpson murder trial sparked a national conversation approximately the racial history of Los Angeles, which was chronicled in the Academy Award-winning 2016 documentary “O.J. Made in America.”