LeBron James apologized for sharing a stereotypical lyrical about Jewish wealth over the weekend.
On Sunday morning, sports reporter Darren Rovell shared a video of James rapping along to “ASMR” by rapper 21 Savage. The NBA star wrote the song lyrics, “We been getting Jewish money / Everything is Kosher,” onto his Instagram stories to nearly 46 million followers.
“Surprised LeBron, who makes very few mistakes, put this out,” Rovell tweeted. “Does quoting lyrics from a song absolve the person quoting from the responsibility behind the words? I’d argue no.”
Surprised LeBron, who makes very few mistakes, put this out. Does quoting lyrics from a song absolve the person quoting from the responsibility behind the words? I’d argue no, especially with a following of 45 million. pic.twitter.com/efv9gkXres
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 23, 2018
That evening following the Lakers’ 107-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, James expressed his sincerest apology for offending anyone with the quotable.
He told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone. 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 a byproduct of it.”
James added, “I actually thought it as 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.”
The NBA will reportedly take no action against the three-time champion over his mistake, according to reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league office has been in contact with LeBron James about his social media post referencing "Jewish money," accepted his explanation that he made a mistake and the NBA will take no action, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 24, 2018
21 Savage’s lyric prompts the positive stereotype that Jewish people are wealthy. JAY-Z was also criticized for making a similar reference on his 2017 song “Story of O.J.”
“ASMR” appears on Savage’s sophomore album, i am > i was, which released on Dec. 21.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.