LOS ANGELES — LeBron James apologized Sunday for lyrics he shared on his Instagram account over the weekend that included the line, “getting that Jewish money.”
“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone,” James told ESPN following the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 107-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. “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. 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.”
James was quoting the song “ASMR” by hip-hop artist 21 Savage and typed the lyrics, “We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher,” onto his Instagram stories as he rode as a passenger in a vehicle while wearing a purple Lakers sweatshirt Saturday afternoon.
There is no indication that the NBA has any plans to fine James, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
James, who has 45.8 million Instagram followers, received some criticism online Sunday after sports business reporter Darren Rovell of The Action Network posted a screen grab from James’ Instagram story to his Twitter account, taking umbrage with James’ judgment.
While James said he interpreted the lyric as touting a strength of the Jewish business community, there is a long-standing stereotype linking Jewish people’s priorities to money and material goods that the lyrics gloss over.
“Historically, Jewish materialism was used by anti-Semites seeking to demean the value of Judaism,” Yale professor Eliyahu Stern told the Times of Israel in August. “It’s often been used as a way of delegitimizing Judaism’s spiritual and religious values by those who depict Judaism as a cover for hoarding, egoism and an expression of difference.”
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.