NBA player LeBron James is facing backlash after quoting song lyrics in an Instagram post that offended Jewish people.
“We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher,” James captioned a photo of himself on the social network.
The line is apparently a quote from a rap song by 21Savage.
Many were upset by James’ post, including sports reporter Darren Rovell, who explained why the post was offensive on his Instagram account:
“Getting that Jewish money” might be seen as a compliment, as in Jews disproportionate to their population (1.4% of the US), on average, have a significant place among the nation’s most wealthy individuals. The issue is that “Jewish money” is actually a derogatory term that, throughout the history of the Jews, has led to hate. It contributed to hate by the Nazis and along with the long nose in cartoons, it contributed to a stereotype that Jews would do anything for money. I spent all day yesterday battling people on Twitter about why the lyrics were not OK and why quoting the lyrics didn’t absolve LeBron from responsibility.
James apologized hours later, explaining that he thought he was complimenting Jewish people for being wealthy.
“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone,” he said.
“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,” he continued.
James was blasted last week after comparing NFL owners, who pay their majority black team members millions of dollars per year to play a child’s game – for a living – t0 slave owners, thus trivializing slavery.
He called the team owners “old white men” with a “slave mentality.”
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