LeBron James has apologized after posting rap lyrics on Instagram that included the phrase “We been getting that Jewish money.”
The Los Angeles Lakers star came under fire over the weekend when he quoted lyrics from “asmr” by 21 Savage to his 45.8 million Instagram followers.
James says he thought the lyric “We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher,” was a “compliment”. He referenced the track after 21 Savage released his new album “I Am > I Was” on Friday.
The three-time NBA champ apologized for the post after the Lakers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone. 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,” he told ESPN. “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.”
Darren Rovell of sports betting company The Action Network took to Twitter prior to James’ apology to share a screen grab of the post and express his displeasure.
“Surprised LeBron, who makes very few mistakes, put this out,” Rovell said in a tweet. “Does quoting lyrics from a song absolve the person quoting from the responsibility behind the words? I’d argue no, especially with a following of 45 million.”
In a separate tweet, Rovell added: “Jews make up 1.4% of the US population, so I expect people to not understand why saying ‘getting that Jewish money’ is offensive.”
“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f–k I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all.’