Seems like the whole world has been following basketball player LeBron James’ every move since he joined the Miami Heat.
In July, he joined twitter so he could bypass the media and connect with his fans. “I think Twitter is definitely somewhere you can reach out to your fans who don’t get an opportunity to see you on an everyday basis,” James told the Baltimore Sun. And reach out he did: James joined Twitter on a Tuesday and had more than 200,000 followers by the following day. He’s up to about 924,000 now.
James keeps it positive—tweets basketball related items, how he hates going to the dentist and even talks about how he’s a “proud daddy” and shared video of his sons first day at school.
But the “haters,” as James calls them, followed also. “Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!” he tweeted in August.
It turns out many of those “haters” are also racists. On Tuesday, James declared it was “Hater Day” and shared nasty and sometimes racists tweets that were directed at him. (Twitter has since removed the racist tweets.)
“I just want you guys to see it also,” James told ESPN after the Heat’s practice Wednesday afternoon. “To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it’s not.”
In one message a person wrote that James is “a big nosed big lipped bug eyed (racial slur). Ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness,” according to ESPN.
Another user tweeted, “hey good game last night, too bad you’re a fraud, B—CH.” Another writer wrote “why don’t u speak by laying ur head under a moving car.”
Last month, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked James if he thought race was a factor in some of the criticism he receives, “I think so, at times. There’s always, you know, a race factor,” he responded.
James brought the conversation full circle at the end of the day by letting his followers know he takes this in stride. “No one can stop your dreams from becoming reality!” he says.