"No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are ... being black in America is tough," LeBron James said Wednesday in his first public comments since his Los Angeles home was vandalized with a racial slur. The Cleveland Cavaliers star told reporters his family was safe after the incident, which is being treated as a hate crime, Sports Illustrated reports. He went on to reflect on racial issues in America. "Racism will always be part of the world, part of America," James said. "And hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. Even though that it’s concealed most of the time." Police say the n-word was painted on the gate of the home, which is not the star's main residence.
James also mentioned Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy whose mother decided to have an open-casket funeral after he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, the Guardian reports. She did so "because she wanted to show the world what her son went through ... being black in America," James said. "I look at it as, if this is to shed the light and keep the conversation going, then on my behalf, I'm OK with it." James was speaking in San Francisco, where the Cavaliers, who play the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA finals Thursday, have been training. (Last week, he broke Michael Jordan's record for points scored during the playoffs.)