LeBron James didn’t mince words when describing his experience with Celtics fans, but Boston mayor Michelle Wu offered a different perspective.
The Los Angeles Lakers star went on his show, “The Shop,” on July 15 and described the racism he experienced when playing in Boston.
“Cause they racist as (expletive),” James said on why he hates Boston. “They will say anything. And it’s fine. It’s my life, (expletive), I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. I don?t mind it. I hear it. If I hear somebody close by, I check them real quick, then move onto the game. They’re going to say whatever the (expletive) they want to say.”
James was not completely negative about Boston on the episode, as he shared his praise toward Jayson Tatum and defended the Celtics star over criticism he received during the NBA Finals. But fans hung onto James’ remarks, and Wu was asked about them during an interview with WBUR.
“I don?t want to downplay the experience particularly of players who have lifted up this concern, especially those who have been in the game for a long time and have had exposure in Boston in years past,” Wu said Monday, as transcribed by MassLive’s Brian Robb. “Boston has had that reputation nationally, and it is something that we have to confront and address. We are also a city that is very dedicated to eradicating racism in every space. I am proud to be a Celtics fan and I will be up there in the balcony cheering my heart out, and it gets intense up there.”
Wu added, “I have not heard specific racist chants, but we do get a little edgy in Boston. We do use words that I would not use, that I would not want my kids to use in chanting at games. And that in some ways is part of our — we are hardcore fans here in Boston.”
Wu’s election to mayor was historic and made waves nationwide as the first woman of color to ever be elected to the position in the history of Boston. The mayor made an offer to James the next time he comes to town.
“I would be happy to take LeBron around and show him the Boston that I know, that I love, and that we are building here to really make sure that everyone is included in our city.”
Fans will have to wait and see if James takes Wu up on her offer.