This week actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct after making false claims to authorities claiming was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019.
The conclusion of his case led to a larger conversation about fake hate crimes, and prompted one prominent sports media company to remind everyone of an odd case involving Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Back in 2018 James’ Los Angeles-based home was allegedly vandalized. As reported by CNN at the time: “A racist slur was spray-painted on the front gate of James’ Los Angeles home, LA police told CNN. Police received a call Wednesday morning but by the time officers had arrived management staff had painted over the offending word, LA Police Department officer Aareon Jefferson said.”
Although much was made about the initial allegation, there was very little media follow-up.
In the aftermath, Clay Travis of Outkick attempted to follow-up on the claim. His findings were a bit bizarre.
After reaching out to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) regarding the matter six months later, he reportedly received this response:
“Good afternoon and thank you for your inquiry,” it read. “We have heard no further with regards to that incident since it happened back in May of this year. I know detectives were investigating, but no further was provided to us. Usually with something high profile or newsworthy, we are provided follow up information to give out to the media when it’s available. Check back with us.”
Since then, no new information about the case has emerged.
This week, in the aftermath of the Smollett verdict, Travis’ Outkick.com retweeted the original story.
For those who forgot about LeBron’s fake racism claim. Here’s my story from 2017 on the LA PD finding no evidence a racist hate crime ever happened. The sports media just allowed this story to disappear: https://t.co/h9cEQmbeTg
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 10, 2021
One way or another, it would be nice to get an update on this. If Travis is out of bounds and wrong, that would be good to know. If something shady occurred with the graffiti, that would also be good to know.
James is obviously a lightning rod for criticism – even among other NBA players. He has often inserted himself into political conversations, particularly as they relate to racial discrimination, which has turned a lot of right-leaning folks off from him.
That’s one way to deal with trade rumors. https://t.co/B19VDsIJ7S
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 11, 2021
That said, the truth is the truth. It knows no political affiliation. And it’d be nice to find out what the truth of this particular graffiti case ultimately ended up being.
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