LeBron James has apologized after posting song lyrics on Instagram that included the phrase "getting that Jewish money."
Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers forward posted an Instagram story with a caption quoting lyrics from "asmr" by hip-hop artist 21 Savage: "We been getting that Jewish money, Everything is Kosher."
Minority and ethnic groups
James has 45.8 million Instagram followers.
"Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone," James told ESPN. "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."
Darren Rovell of The Action Network, a media company that covers sports betting, took to Twitter on Sunday prior to James' apology to voice his displeasure with the post.
"Surprised LeBron, who makes very few mistakes, put this out," Rovell said in a tweet, which included a screen grab of James' post. "Does quoting lyrics from a song absolve the person quoting from the responsibility behind the words? I'd argue no, especially with a following of 45 million."
In a separate tweet, Rovell added: "Jews make up 1.4% of the US population, so I expect people to not understand why saying 'getting that Jewish money' is offensive."
James' apology came Sunday after the Lakers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 107-99. On Monday, Rovell posted to Instagram, saying, "It was an uphill battle yesterday, but LeBron knows simply acknowledging a mistake goes a long way into helping people understand the other side of 'the coin.'"