A sportswriter made a pretty gutsy, yet egregious, move by quoting an iconic rap artist in a tweet about LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
During Monday night’s game against the New York Knicks, James was involved in a scuffle with Knicks player Enes Kanter. Both athletes were hit with technical fouls as a result of the confrontation, according to HuffPost.
The incident prompted former New York Post columnist and NBC basketball analyst Peter Vecsey to weigh in, applauding Kanter for standing up to James.
However, Vecsey’s way of saluting Kanter’s toughness was by slightly tweaking a lyric by the late Notorious B.I.G. which included the n-word. To his credit, Vecsey did take the step of censoring the racial epithet with asterisks, but that didn’t save him from black Twitter’s wrath.
Like Kanter is gonna 2B intimidated by LeBron, guy who stood up 2 Tayyip Erdogan. Imagine him being scared of a n*****who breathes the same air as him— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) November 14, 2017
Once he started receiving criticism for quoting the lyric, Vecsey responded to several people in a defensive manner.
Your problem, not mine— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) November 14, 2017
says u— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) November 14, 2017
At one point, he expressed his exasperation in another tweet, asking “So white people can’t quote rap lyrics?!?!”
So white people cant quote rap lyrics?!?! Cant sing them?!?! Bull shit!!— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) November 14, 2017
Although the obvious answer would be: not if said lyrics involve the n-word.
While the waters can get murky when it comes to the n-word being used in books, music, movies, and other art forms which are open to people of all races, it should be a rule of thumb for white folks and non-black people of color to just steer clear of it. You may hear it and you may see it, but please don’t use it.
If Vecsey really wanted to quote that line from that particular song, he should have used a different word entirely to replace the n-word that still would have made sense in the lyric, such as the word “man” for instance.
“Imagine him being scared of a [man] who breathes the same air as him” — see how easy that is?
Although Vecsey seems very unapologetic about the situation, we can only hope that this experience teaches him to avoid making this mistake again in the future.