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Lakers owner Jeanie Buss responds to racist attack on Instagram

Lakers co-owner and chief executive officer Jeanie Buss.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

After some deliberation Jeanie Buss, the Lakers co-owner and chief executive officer, decided Friday to share on Instagram a photograph of a letter that contained racist and misogynistic comments.

The letter began with, “Dear Whore,” and it appeared to have been written on a typewriter.

The letter only got nastier and used the n-word.

“After 60 years as a huge Lakers fan, I now say to hell with the overpaid … traitors and the NBA,” the person wrote. The n-word was blacked.

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“Go to hell and join [expletive] Kobe Bryant” is how it finishes.

The name Joe was signed to the letter, but his last name was blacked out.

“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. “This is happening in our world TODAY. It is real and it exists.

Chief executive Tim Harris wanted the Lakers to “understand this moment we’re in,” and that led to hiring Karida Brown as director of racial equity and action.

“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 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.”

She ended her post with the hashtags #juneteenth and #hatewontwin.

Lakers superstar LeBron James decided to share and stick up for Buss on his Instagram post on Friday with messages of his own: “LOVE YOU JEANIE!!!” that was surrounded by two hearts. James also had a middle finger emoji directed at Joe, who wrote the letter.


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