LeBron James apologized for live-streaming an Instagram Story video that showed him rocking out to anti-Jewish rap lyrics in his Uber on Saturday. LeBron added fuel to the fire by captioning the video with lyrics from a track by Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage track.
LeBron captioned the video: "We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher." The lyrics are taken from a 21 Savage track, "asmr," off his album I Am > I was, which dropped on Dec. 21.
Jews and non-Jews alike were outraged at LeBron's insensitivity, particularly since he is a high-profile minority.
One Instagram user wrote:
"This is an anti Semitic stereotype used for centuries to foster hatred against Jews. @kingjames the nazis spread this nonsense everywhere #wordshavemeaning posting words to 44 million people has a ton of meaning."
Many noted that LeBron streamed the offensive video after he accused "old white NFL owners" of having a "slave mentality," regarding the Black athletes on their teams.
The NFL is made up of 85% Black and minority players.
LeBron, 34, apologized on Sunday for "offending anyone." The Lakers superstar forward said he didn't choose those lyrics to highlight his "white NFL owners" comment.
"Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone," James told ESPN.
"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."
The superstar, who is a registered Democrat, rarely apologizes for his outspoken commentary on politics and social justice.
LeBron's apology came after the Lakers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 107-99 on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Lakers (19-14) next take on the Golden State Warriors (23-11) in Oakland, Calif. on Christmas Day.