Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James averaged 30.3 points this season.

LeBron James is right: Boston fans can be racist, but the city is changing

Warning: This story contains hate speech.

LeBron James called Boston fans “f— as racist”.

For some of you this will be shocking. For those of you who know better, it would be like James said two plus two equals four.

“Why do you hate Boston?” James was asked on the latest episode of “The Shop.”

“Because they’re racist as f—,” James replied. “They’ll say anything. And that’s fine. It’s my life… I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. I don’t care. I hear it. If I hear someone nearby, I tell them immediately.” I check, then I move on to the game. Whatever they’re going to say… they want to say.”

What James says is not controversial. This is factual. If you have a problem with that, either you are willfully ignorant, or simply don’t know Boston. I mean, James’ role as part owner of the Red Sox may have had some uncomfortable moments, but he’s right.

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There is actually a long trail of athletes who have said the exact same thing.

In May Kyrie Irving said that she heard racist remarks directed towards her during her time with the Celtics.

“I think it would be unfair to portray every Celtics fan as a racist,” Boston guard Jaylen Brown said in response to Irving’s comments. “However, we have a lot of work to do, no question. There’s a lack of resources, a lack of opportunity.”

A Red Sox fan throws a bag of peanuts at Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones in 2018. New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia once said: “I’ve never been called the “n-word” except in Boston. we all know. When you go to Boston, expect it.”

Former All-Star outfielder Tory Hunter told ESPN that he was “called the n-word in Boston 100 times. Younger kids, right next to their parents. That’s why I have a no-trade clause for Boston in every contract.” was.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James averaged 30.3 points this season.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James averaged 30.3 points this season.

The racism of fans at Red Sox games was so incredibly horrific that the team was finally forced to publicly acknowledge it in order to integrate.

“The experience of Tory Hunter is real,” the team said in 2020. “If you doubt that because you’ve never heard it yourself, take it from us, it happens.”

written by marcus smart The Players Tribune About an incident that happened to him in 2020.

“I was walking out of the arena parking lot when I saw a white woman crossing with her five or six-year-old son right in front of the light as cars started coming at them. I rolled my windows down and some Felt bad was about to happen, so I politely shouted to her, that she needs to hurry up and get out of the street so that the two of them don’t get hurt.

“The lady was wearing the Isaiah Thomas No. 4 Celts jersey. And there were all the other Celtics fans who were in the game. I thought she’d be cool.

“No.

“He turned his head around and that was…”

The woman called Smart a racial abuse.

I could go on. and on. And on and on and on.

So, yes, James is right. But if we’re honest. true Blue. We have to admit that even the city of Boston is slowly changing. It is still rife with racial animosity and economic inequality but it has recently done something remarkable that shows its potential.

If you had told me 10 years ago, or even five years ago that Boston would elect an Asian mayor, I would have laughed in your face. But Michelle Wu was elected as the city’s first Asian mayor in 2021 and became one of only six Asian mayors heading one of the 100 largest US cities.

Three cities elected their first mayors of Asian descent last year: Wu; Bruce Harrell in Seattle; and Aftab Purewal in Cincinnati. His elections represent the nation’s changing racial dynamics, even in places where he has traditionally had little influence.

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The fact that Boston, a place long opposed to this type of change, is now part of it, is surprising. Before Wu, Boston only elected white people as mayors. Wu replaced Marty Walsh, who joined the Biden administration. She was replaced on acting grounds by Kim Janney, who became the first female and Black mayor of Boston.

The election of an Asian mayor doesn’t fix things but it starts something.

Thus as ugly as Boston’s racial history has been, and is, there remains some promise. The Red Sox removed Yorkie Way from Fenway Park in 2018. Tom Yokee was a notorious racist who owned the Red Sox from 1933–1976 and was called baseball’s biggest bigot by Jackie Robinson.

The problem is the harshly racist fans James talks about have a significant and outspoken presence in the sports scene. There is still a significant portion of the Boston fan base that hates black people. This is just a fact. This is a truth that you may not like to hear but it is true. It’s not just some bad guys. There is a problematic culture that needs to change.

So, yes, of course James is right, and as someone who once lived in Boston, and has written about his racial ugliness for decades, James didn’t say anything wrong. He was so incredibly right.

But it is possible, just possible, that may not be for long.

This article was originally published in USA Today: LeBron James Calls Boston Fans ‘Racists’, But the City Is Changing

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