LeBron James thumbnail cut from 5:30p CNNI World Sport CLEAN
NBA TV
LeBron James thumbnail cut from 5:30p CNNI World Sport CLEAN
Now playing
01:21
LeBron James' home painted with racist graffiti
Now playing
03:44
Do the 1990s hold the key to sustainable websites?
Now playing
01:10
Watch SpaceX land its Mars rocket prototype for the first time
Now playing
05:52
The climate crisis is taking these farmers' most valuable resource
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:37
Facebook Oversight Board: Indefinite suspension of Trump's account is 'not appropriate'
Now playing
03:41
How technology at NASA helps guide Biden on climate
Now playing
01:42
A vaccine without needles? It's on the way
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
Conan announces his last show after 30 years in late night
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Will Trump be allowed back on Facebook? This board will decide
CNN
Now playing
05:16
WTF is a SPAC?
Now playing
01:51
A shortage of tanker truck drivers could cause stations to run out of gas
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Verizon Media
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Now playing
02:47
Verizon sells off Yahoo and AOL
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:40
Warren Buffett warns on US inflation
Now playing
01:00
Astronauts splash down after record-setting mission
ATLANTA - APRIL 30:  A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising.  (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Barry Williams/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
ATLANTA - APRIL 30: A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Now playing
02:28
Why Delta airlines is resuming selling middle seats
Now playing
02:50
Grocery chain says 'hero pay' forcing them to close stores

Story highlights

NBA star's home vandalized with racial slur on eve of NBA Finals; he was not home at the time

James speaks candidly on race relations in US following incident

(CNN) —  

NBA star LeBron has spoken up about a racist incident that took place at his Los Angeles home, telling reporters that it is “tough” to be black in the US.

James spoke about the incident, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime, in a press conference scheduled for the opening of the NBA Finals.

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough,” he said.

“We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America.”

Racist slur painted on gate

A racist slur was spray-painted on the front gate of James’ Los Angeles home, LA police told CNN.

Police received a call Wednesday morning but by the time officers had arrived management staff had painted over the offending word, LA Police Department officer Aareon Jefferson said.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star bought the house just over two years ago for just under $21 million, according to public records.

The small forward, who leads the defending champions into the opening game of the NBA Finals Thursday night, was not at home.

During the press conference, James expressed relief that his family was unharmed. “My family is safe and that’s what’s important,” he said.

Game 1 of the series against the Golden State Warriors takes place in Oakland, California.

00:53 - Source: CNN
LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan: Who's better?

2017 NBA Finals: Buckle up for Cavs-Warriors 3.0

Social activism

His statement Wednesday is not the first time that the 33-year-old NBA superstar has been candid about race.

Last year, James and fellow NBA players Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony spoke to the issue at the ESPY awards.

“Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT,” James said. “But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them.

“We all have to do better.”

02:35 - Source: CNN
NBA stars plead for change during ESPYs opening

Why athletes are getting more political in the age of Trump

Last year, ahead of the opening of the 2016-17 NBA season, James, one of the league’s most successful players ever, also voiced his concerns about his children growing up in a country in which black deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers are a very visible issue.

“I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave the house on his own,” James said.

“And you see these videos that continue to come out. It’s a scary-ass situation that if my son calls me and said he’s been pulled over, that I’m not that confident that things are going to go well and that my son is going to return home.”

Police are still investigating the graffiti incident and are examining security camera footage in an attempt to identify the perpetrator. Jefferson, the LAPD officer, told CNN that they cannot currently say if the home was burgled.