LeBron James, after LA home vandalized: 'Being black in America is tough'

LeBron James, after LA home vandalized: 'Being black in America is tough'

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A racial slur painted on LeBron James' LA home has sparked a hate crime investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Someone spray painted the racial slur "N-----" on his front gate.

The graffiti has since been covered up. Authorities are treating this as a hate crime and are currently reviewing security video.

James has owned the home for two years.

According to the Associated Press Capt. Patricia Sandoval, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman, says James wasn't at the home at the time. She says the property manager told officers they believe the incident was captured on surveillance video.

James said Wednesday he's mostly glad his family is safe.

"Racism will always be a part of the world, part of America," he said.

He added that "hate is alive every single day."

"Being black in America is tough," he said. "And we have a long way to go for us as a society and as Americans."

LeBron James says this reminds him of what's really important -- his family. He says basketball is not the most important thing in his life.

"Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. Even though it's concealed most of the time, even though people hide their faces and will say things about you and when they see you they smile to your face -- it's alive every single day," James said.

Michael Nelson, president of the NAACP Cleveland chapter, says the best way to respond to racism is to rise above it.

"Racism is something we have to remain vigilant against, and requires an entire community to condemn it, identify it and talk about it so people can be educated to the damage it causes," Nelson said.

Nelson says it's all about how we treat each other and teach our children, because people aren't born racist.

"If you see racism, you have to speak out about it. You can't encourage it, you can't ignore it. Because that's just like encouraging it," Nelson said.

The Cleveland Cavaliers arrived in Oakland Tuesday.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins Thursday, June 1, against the Golden State Warriors.

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