LeBron James apologized Sunday for an Instagram story that showed him singing along to lyrics that referenced "Jewish money."
James made a post Saturday quoting the song "ASMR," in which 21 Savage raps, "We been gettin' that Jewish money, everything is kosher." The song does not contain other references to Jewish people. The Los Angeles Lakers player has nearly 46 million followers.
The longstanding stereotype that Jewish people are unduly wealthy was one of the justifications the German Nazi government used for the Holocaust.
Sports Illustrated columnist Michael Rosenberg called the post "undeniably offensive" and compared it to a white athlete using a racial slur.
Speaking to ESPN Sunday night following a Lakers loss, James said, "Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone. 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."
ESPN reported that the NBA had no plans to fine James.
Darren Rovell, a reporter and producer for the sports betting media company the Action Network, wrote on Instagram, "LeBron knows simply acknowledging a mistake goes a long way into helping people understand the other side of 'the coin.'"
James, 21 Savage, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the NBA did not immediately respond to request for comment.