Quantcast
Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 10:20 am  |  69 responses

LeBron James Sorry for Using the Word ‘Retarded’

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James apologized for uttering the term “retarded” prior to the Wednesday night showdown with the OKC Thunder. Per the Palm Beach Post:

An hour or so before losing 112-95 to Oklahoma City, James was asked about Thunder forward Kevin Durant’s improvement as a passer and replied, “I actually think that’s a pretty funny thing when people say ‘people’s growth of passing the ball.’ That is retarded to me. Kevin Durant’s growth of being a passer? That’s part of basketball.”

Before taking questions after the game, he opened by saying, “I used the word ‘retarded’ before the game. Obviously it had nothing to do with kids that are underprivileged. It’s no knock on them. It’s a word that’s been around for a long time where I grew up. It’s a bad habit. I’ll try to break it. If I use it again– I’m gonna try to do my best not to. I mean no disrespect.”

James received backlash for muttering that word about a question during a 2011 press conference as well.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , ,

  • alcoholoffamer

    People are so sensitive lol.

  • Dfrance

    The word retarded never has anything to do with underprivileged kids Lebron, but I know what you were trying to say.

    My question is, and I mean no disrespect to those that get offended by the word, but why do people find the term offensive? It is an actual word used to describe a handicap, not a made up derogatory term. Dumb is also an actual word used to describe a handicap, but had he said “That’s a dumb question” no one gets offended.

  • JoeMaMa

    We need an offensive term/word that offends nobody. ‘Douche bag’ is the closest term I can think of. Maybe ‘loser’, but it doesn’t have the same angry bite. Any other good offensive/non-offensive terms out there?

  • Jake

    That’s retarded.

  • Harvey

    He shouldn’t have said that word.
    But to be fair, he is completely right. “Growth as a passer” is ridiculous. Passing IS part of Basketball. If you can’t pass to start with, you wouldn’t be in the league.
    I get what reporters are saying… but jeeez.
    I’m with LeBron on this one.

  • bike

    True. It is still a clinically valid term to describe someone mentally challanged.

  • bike

    Douche bag could be offensive to women. I prefer ‘Dipshit’. Covers everything without being specific.

  • JJ Jones

    Why Is this a big deal people cant be this sensitive right?

  • Lloyd

    It’s not the word itself, but the connotation behind it. Lebron clearly equated “retarded” to mean “subject of derision” or “stupid”. It’s the same thing as calling something “gay”, that’s why people get offended. It’d be like me saying, “Yo I got some Dfrance on the bottom of my shoe!” if I stepped in some dog crap. By subbing your name instead of literal sh*t, it’s insulting to you.

    I have a bunch of friends who work with kids who are “under privileged” as Lebron says. As far as I can tell, they stay away from the use of the word “retarded”.

  • Jay cutler

    That’s because people are not-and never have been- rational beings. We are all emotional creatures living in a society in which “sticks and stones” is supposed to be revelatory wisdom.

    You might (correctly) argue that people are really getting hurt because of their own insecurities and personal issues. So I guess it comes down to how compassionate you feel about that versus the importance you place on your “right” to use whatever words you wish.

    I just don’t think reminding people of “sticks and stones” is going to make people hurt less because they realize they’re being irrational.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    “Let’s Get Retarded” – Black Eyed Peas.

  • Dfrance

    I understand all that, I just don’t get why that specific word gets this treatment. If he had said, “that’s a dumb question” people wouldn’t get up in arms and say he’s being insensitive to mute people.

    A lot of people steer clear of using it, but if I work with kids that suffer from mental retardation and someone asks what I do and I say “I work with retarded kids” I’d be stating a fact, not trying to be insensitive.

    Anyway, just playing devils advocate. At the end of the day its just best to try and not do or say things that people may find offensive.

  • Dfrance

    ‘F*ck boy’ has become a new favorite of mine. Haven’t had the chance to use it yet tho.

  • JoeMaMa

    …next bad comment. Hope it’s not me.
    That one could sting.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Ehh being in Cali I hear that word uttered a lot by these swag punks. I prefer “get yo p***y a$$ outta here” or “dumb f*%k”

  • Gammy

    It is no longer an acceptable word. It would now be someone with an intellectual disability. It was at one point completely acceptable and the recognized word with someone with an IQ of less than 70 but because it started being used in a derogatory way it has been changed. That being said it was an honest mistake and a word that people use all the time.

  • notoner

    I really dig the term “Asshat”

  • Dagger

    Largely because words like “dumb” simply mean “stupid” – which anyone can be – whereas “retarded” generally means “mentally disabled,” and so refers to a particular group of people. Calling something “retarded” is really saying that something would be worthy of a mentally disabled person. You can see why that would be problematic in the context of a society that often devalues the disabled.

    A big part of changing attitudes towards a group of people is about changing our language, which is why it’s a good idea to stop saying words like “retarded,” or “gay” when it’s meant to disparage something.

    That’s not to say that disabled people don’t have limitations, but let’s not compound those limitations through ridicule, however inadvertent and unthinking that ridicule may be.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Retarded is NOT a derogatory word, but many many many many circles find it offensive….. LeBron is playing it safe to apologize.

    Think: If your brother was retarded, you would feel some type of way if someone just called him “retarded”…you would rather “mentally handicapped” or some other phrase…….it just sounds bad….

    i personally don’t see anything wrong with the word, but my wife’s brother is autistic and they WILL snap if you even use the word RETARDED around them for anything…

  • Lloyd

    But “dumb” means lacking intelligence by definition as well. Besides, it actually is offensive to call someone “dumb” or “mute” when they’re “speech impaired”.

    I get that, but if I work in a predominantly African-American area with children, and if I say, “I work with a bunch of n*ggers” is that alright? I’d be stating a fact, not trying to be insensitive.

    I agree with you, and that’s why he apologized. I say “retarded” in private with my boys, but if I’m going to talk to them media or even speak to someone I don’t know well, I’m going to refrain from using speech that may offend them. It’s just courtesy.

  • Dfrance

    So n*gger is the same thing as African American??? Please tell me thats not what you think.

  • Lloyd

    They changed the radio version to, “Let’s Get It Started”.

  • Dfrance

    Dumb does not “simply mean stupid.” By definition, to be dumb is to not have the ability to speak, to be a mute. That is a particular group of people as well.

  • Lloyd

    I don’t. I’m just saying if I said the “n-word” you, and everyone else will know exactly what I mean. Take away all the negative connotation and historically oppressive sentiments of the word, and linguistically it has the same effect.

    But the connotation and history of the word is exactly why it’s not ok to say that. (like “retarded”)

  • Dfrance

    Honestly, I work off of context. If someone referred to my mentally retarded brother as retarded, strictly to describe his condition, I wouldn’t be mad. If they were saying it to be mean of insensitive, that’s another story.

    Again, I try not to use it myself because I understand how people feel about it, I just think its one of those things most people get up in arms about just to get up in arms about it.

  • Dagger

    Well, first of all: when do you ever use “dumb” to mean “mute?” And, when you do, when do you use “dumb” to refer to something in a derogatory fashion? If you did, yes, that would be problematic. Obviously.

    Secondly, I would guess that friends and allies of someone who can’t speak – and perhaps that person as well – would be pretty offended if you started calling them “dumb.”

  • Dfrance

    But the history of the word retard is to develop slowly, or slower than normal. The word never started out as a negative word. N*gger was always a negative word. It wasn’t used to mean African-American and then somewhere along the lines it became a derogatory term for African Americans. You can’t compare the two at all.

  • spit hot fiyah

    offensive to guacamole

  • Lambert

    Duuuuude n*gger is not a synonym for black people and there is kinda a lot more history/hate behind that word.

  • Lloyd

    I’m not equating the two words. You can’t compare levels of offense or plights of groups of people. I’m using one as an example of the other. I’m saying why they’re both offensive, not that one is more offensive than the other or that they are both equally offensive.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    yep, like the N word..

  • Lambert

    This kinda stuff is sort of frustrating for a lot of us i think because on the one hand it’s good that we are changing our language to be less white/straight/male but at the same time some things in our vernacular have literally changed to mean something entirely different and it seems misplaced to focus more on language rather than peoples’ real perspectives.

    So i applaud his consideration and also think this is all retarded and want him to stop acting like a little bitch who will apologize to every “gotcha American” with sand in their v*ginas.

  • Lambert

    This kinda stuff is sort of frustrating for a lot of us i think
    because on the one hand it’s good that we are changing our language to
    be less white/straight/male but at the same time some things in our
    vernacular have literally changed to mean something entirely different
    and it seems misplaced to focus more on language rather than peoples’
    real perspectives.

    So i applaud his consideration and also think this is all retarded
    and want him to stop acting like a little b*tch who will apologize to
    every “gotcha American” with sand in their v*ginas.

  • Lloyd

    “Dumb” has two definitions. 1) lacking intelligence (how it’s usually used) and 2) unable to speak (offensive when used towards humans). By definition, “dumb” is an OFFENSIVE term for the speech impaired.

  • Dfrance

    That is exactly my point! If it is offensive to the speech impaired, why don’t people get upset when people use it the same way they get upset when retarded is used?

  • Lloyd

    “some things in *MY vernacular have literally changed to mean something entirely different…”

  • MindistheMaster

    If just one person is offended by it, then it’s best (if you care at all about other people) to stop using the word. It’s not that hard. I respect James for knowing who he is, knowing the kind of power he has and correcting himself.

  • Lloyd

    The predominant use of the word is to mean “lacking intelligence; stupid”. That’s the reason WHY it’s offensive to specifically refer to the speech impaired in that way. If you use the word without referring to the speech impaired, you’re just calling something stupid. Only people you could offend using the word in that context, are stupid people who have identified their own stupidity.

  • Dagger

    Actually, the history of the word “n*gger” is much more complex than that.

    It began as a neutral term referring to black people, used by the Portuguese and Spanish (the Europeans who first reached sub-Saharan Africa). It’s a descendant of the word “niger,” which means “black” in Latin.

    The use of the word as a derogatory term accompanied the rise of new forms of racism (and imperialism) in the nineteenth century.

    Words never have stable meanings in society: they evolve alongside shifting cultural attitudes. “Retard” is currently a derogatory term for the mentally handicapped. Perhaps its connotations are not as offensive as “n*gger,” but it is certainly a word that is usually meant to demean. For that reason it’s best avoided.

    To be honest, I never really understand the reluctance of people to abandon a word for the sake of a group of people that feels marginalized by it. So I have to stop saying “gay” or “retard.” Will that really worsen my life?

  • LakeShow

    I wasn’t offended by the use of the word retarded.

    What is offensive is calling them underprivileged. They wouldn’t say they are underprivileged.

  • Lambert

    Um no. Within the country in which I inhabit (America)…including within television, music, etc. There’s a big change.

  • Lambert

    Have you ever romped around with the under class? Because I’m a permanent member and we are gross, vulgar, and still generally good people despite the language we use.

  • TR

    i’ve said something was “retarded” in front of mentally challenged people twice and felt shitty both times. Its such a common word for some people that isnt meant with any malice. It is however; a word that is worth trying to remove from your vocabulary. In LeBron’s case it wasnt that bad, but he played it right.

  • Lloyd

    I was the underclass. The fact that you’re trying to speak for everyone is my point. You can’t. Just because you’re not offended by something, doesn’t mean everyone isn’t. To imply that every member of the underclass shares you view is arrogant and grossly inaccurate.

    And just because you’re not offended by a word, no matter in what context it’s used, doesn’t mean it’s not offensive.

  • The Truth

    Just the fact that you brought this up shows your true colors.

  • Dfrance

    Well I didn’t pose my question to advocate the use of the word retarded in place of silly or stupid. I was just making the point that people pick and choose what “causes” they want to take up and get upset over. If you’re offended by the casual use of the word retarded, you should be offended by the use of the casual use of dumb, gay, homo, etc…

  • Lloyd

    Yes. I’m a vicious racist.

  • Dfrance

    I think what happened there is he simply didn’t know what word to use to refer to mentally challenged people without sounding offensive. So he went with underprivileged, unknowingly offending the same mentally challenged people he was apologizing to for offending in the first place.

  • Lambert

    Oh for f*ck sake relax. And honestly, just because someone is offended doesn’t mean they are right or that the offender needs to change.

    And btw when did you do-gooders become the anointed voices of those that need defending? Are you mentally challenged? Or are you just generalizing that they are all offended when they hear that word? I remember when Sarah Palin tried to talk about how Family Guy was being offensive by having a girl with down syndrome on there (the actress had down syndrome) and how the girl had to tell Palin to stop trying to defend her because she went on that show as her choice and she thought it was funny.

    I do think that changing the way we speak is important and we should do it (I don’t use the word retarded btw) but at the same time pump your breaks and stop acting like a hero. Also don’t ever f*cking compare the word retarded to n*gger again. That was embarrassing.

  • Lloyd

    So you think the person that is being offended should change their perspective rather than the person who’s doing the actual offending? That’s a great idea.

    I didn’t make myself an “anointed voice”. I didn’t know saying, “people shouldn’t use the word “retarded” in a negative way” makes me a hero. You have low standards.

    I’m not speaking for anybody. I’m not offended by those words at all. I even said I’m alright with using them however you want behind closed doors.. When you’re in public or talking to someone you don’t know, you should have basic tact and not say things that can be construed as offensive. If you do so inadvertently, then apologize . Some words are recognized to be offensive, and to say stay away from those words in everyday speech does not make me better than anyone. I try to be courteous and to suggest others do the same is not speaking for anyone, it’s just advocating common courteous.

    Go read the whole thread again. And don’t speak for every red-blooded American. You’re being a poor representative.

  • bike

    I wonder how marginalized these people really feel about these terms. It’s the advocacy groups that seem to get upset about these words and decide they are offensive. Sure, it doesn’t really ruin peoples lives – other than getting a little paranoid about getting jumped on for an innocent comment not meant to offend. Kind of like what happened to LeBron.

  • Lambert

    First of all, every American is red blooded unless I’m mistaken. Second of all nobody on here speaks on behalf of anyone. We’re a bunch of worthless f*cks on a comment board.

    Second, you are more concerned with having a little cat fight than reading what I’m saying. I’ve now said several times and several different ways that we should change our vernacular because when you think about it, it is indeed very white/male/straight etc centric. And I agree that when you are in the public eye you should be especially mindful because your voice does actually resonate.

    I started my first comment out trying to explain the duality I feel every time one of these things happens but how I ultimately think language matters and we should change it.

    So in other words we largely agree but we are arguing because you bug the sh*t out of me because you’re trying to pretend that the obvious isn’t true: you first objected to my statement about how our vernacular has changed (you objected to the most uncontroversial thing ever because, yes, nobody can speak for everyone). Then you objected to me saying that the underclass is vulgar with another boring statement about generalization. We don’t even really disagree, you just bother me and I want to argue with you.

  • Lambert

    Lol and yeah I said second twice. F*ck off.

  • RyanDeahn

    We live in a soft PC world.

  • robb

    Man, you can’t insult anybody these days without being criticised. SMH

  • LakeShow

    LOL, yup.

    I understand. It is a very touchy subject. So hard to get out unscathed after the “R” word.

  • Lloyd

    You’re clearly an idiot or a troll. Saying you agree with both sides isn’t expressing duality, it’s contradicting yourself. “Red-blooded American” is a saying that means just that…the common person.

    You said:

    “I do think that changing the way we speak is important and we should do it (I don’t use the word retarded btw)

    “This kinda stuff is sort of frustrating for a lot of US”

    “things in OUR vernacular have literally changed to mean something entirely different and it seems misplaced to focus more on language rather than peoples’ real perspectives”

    You equated yourself with the people who use offensive words, condoning them by saying that the meanings have changed for those who continually use them. They do NOT change for those who find them offensive. You say changing our language is good then justify not changing it. Again, not expressing “duality”. It’s just contradictory.

    “Also think this is all retarded and want him to stop acting like a little b*tch who will apologize to every “gotcha American” with sand in their v*ginas.”

    Then you so eloquently make all your other points moot. You’re a moron and I’m done talking with you.

  • initbruv

    Sigh…yes I know what red blooded American refers to I was just (successfully) winding you up.

    And yes it is a duality because my initial response to people being offended by things like using girl and gay in the negative is to think “aw lighten up” because I hear those phrases used all the time by people who are not homophobic or sexist (including myself), they are just f*cking around. But I also recognize that I’m a white, straight, non-mentally-challenged male so of course nothing is going to offend me. I’ve had enough discussion with others who are genuinely offended to sympathize and agree with them now (albeit begrudgingly).

    And yes I equated myself with people using offensive words because I work around the scum of the country (any general job field at the bottom, I’ve done it) and consider myself one of them too. Yet, WE are not bad people, it’s just habits that need breaking. It’s a slow process but it’s happening. So yeah, again duality is precisely the right word for what I’m talking about. Learn to understand nuance in life (once you hit the age of 20 or so hopefully it will happen naturally).

    And jesus fucking mother of mary you have no sense of humor (and no social awareness). I was trying to underscore what I was saying with a bit of over the top vulgarity along the lines of what I was saying we need to stomp out. Again-nuance.

    You’re about as deep as a puddle of piss aren’t you?Lastly I am offended by you calling me an idiot so in the name of common courtesy please apologize.

  • The Truth

    Lloyd wouldn’t know. He’s obviously ignorant towards the subject and blissfull by his retort apperantly. SMH

  • initbruv

    Sigh…yes I know what red blooded American refers to I was just (successfully) winding you up.

    And yes it is a duality because my initial response to people being
    offended by things like using girl and gay in the negative is to think
    “aw lighten up” because I hear those phrases used all the time by people
    who are not homophobic or sexist (including myself), they are just
    f*cking around. But I also recognize that I’m a white, straight,
    non-mentally-challenged male so of course nothing is going to offend me.
    I’ve had enough discussion with others who are genuinely offended to
    sympathize and agree with them now (albeit begrudgingly).

    And yes I equated myself with people using offensive words because I
    work around the scum of the country (any general job field at the
    bottom, I’ve done it) and consider myself one of them too. Yet, WE are
    not bad people, it’s just habits that need breaking. It’s a slow process
    but it’s happening. So yeah, again duality is precisely the right word
    for what I’m talking about. Learn to understand nuance in life (once you
    hit the age of 20 or so hopefully it will happen naturally).

    And jesus f*cking mother of mary you have no sense of humor (and no
    social awareness). I was trying to underscore what I was saying with a
    bit of over the top vulgarity along the lines of what I was saying we
    need to stomp out. Again-nuance.

    You’re about as deep as a puddle of piss aren’t you?

    Lastly I am
    offended by you calling me an idiot so in the name of common courtesy
    please apologize.

  • initbruv

    He’s well meaning but not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably just really young.

  • alcoholoffamer

    It’s not that hard to stop being butthurt over something as simple as this too.

  • Barbara J. Kuester

    my&nbspclassmate’s&nbspex-wife&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­80&nbspevery&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbsplaid&nbspoff&nbspfor&nbsp5&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­­­Уment&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­14835&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е,…&nbspWW&#87&#46Googleprojects2014auditionj5l2e2iw&#x2E&#113r&#46&#110&#x65&#x74&#47&#109&#87&#113&#x5A/

    ♞♞♞ ♞♞♞⃽ ♞♞♞⃽♞ ♞♞♞I have a bunch of friends who work with kids who are “under privileged” as Lebron says.

  • pposse

    “We’re a bunch of worthless f*cks on a comment board.” – haha Socrates wouldn’t have said it any different!

  • shockexchange

    C’mon Kang. This isn’t regal, nor is it part of the Shock Exchange’s “LeBron Rules … Keys to Stopping LeBron James.”

  • Doug

    I’m glad he apologized…people who use the word retarded are gay

  • The Truth

    Why the need to insult people? If the country was/is supposedly based on judeo/cristian values, were is the love for thy brother? I’d understand if you were part of an evil cult though. That would make perfect sense.

  • TheBigL

    LeBron retarded for using the word “sorry”.

  • Ugh

    So:
    * advocacy groups get upset about it.
    * it’s unknown how much people in question get upset about it.
    * it is know it doesn’t ruin lives and people are paranoid about it.

    So if you don’t know enough of a population sample to know what they think about it, how do you know how much effect it has on their lives?

Advertisement