Jun 19, 2020
Dave McMenaminESPN Staff Writer
- Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
- Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.
Los Angeles Lakers chief executive officer and governor Jeanie Buss shared a photograph of a letter on her Instagram account Friday containing racist and misogynistic epithets “so that everyone can see the hate is real and living out there,” she wrote.
The two-sentence letter, composed on a typewriter, begins with “Dear Whore” and continues with more vitriol.
“After 60 years as a huge Lakers fan, I now say to hell with the overpaid n—– traitors and the NBA,” the letter reads, with the N-word scribbled out with a black marking.
“Go to hell and join [expletive] Kobe Bryant,” it concludes.
The letter is signed by a man named Joe. His last name was also obscured by a black marking.
“After much thought, I decided to share this letter I received on Monday so that everyone can see the hate is real and living out there,” Buss wrote in the caption, sharing it with her 146,000 followers. “This is happening in our world TODAY. Its real and it exists.
“To Joe: Did sending this letter make you feel better? Really all you did was waste your time, and energy and your postage stamp. (But thank you for including your return home address.) Why don’t you look in the mirror and see your ugliness because I refuse to. I have received letters like this over the years. The advice I always got? ‘Ignore it.’ I did. But not anymore.
“On this day, Juneteenth, I ask my white friends to join together, acknowledge the racism that exists in our country and around the world, and pledge to stop ignoring it. We all must do better.”
Buss concluded her post with the hashtags #juneteenth and #hatewontwin.
LeBron James shared Buss’ post on his Instagram story on Friday, with two messages of his own: “LOVE YOU JEANIE!!!” surrounded by two hearts and a middle finger emoji directed at the author of the letter, Joe.
The Lakers gave the team off on Friday in order to observe Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the effective end of slavery. Friday marks 155 years since all enslaved people in Texas — the last of the states to eliminate slavery — were emancipated on June 19, 1865.