Los Angeles Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss posted a fan's hate-filled letter to her Instagram account Friday to demonstrate that racism still exists.
"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. This is happening in our world TODAY. Its real and it exists," Buss wrote on the social media site.
The letter, in which Buss redacted what appears to be at least one instance of a racial slur, another word which is completely blacked out and the writer's last name, reads as follows:
"Dear W***e -- After 60 years as a huge Lakers fan, I now say to hell with the overpaid (racial slur) traitors and the NBA. Go to hell and join (redacted word) Kobe Bryant," says the typed missive from a man named Joe.
Buss directed a portion of her post to Joe himself:
"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 return home address) Why don't you look in the mirror and see your ugliness because I refuse to."
Buss went on to tell her followers that she has received letters like this over the years, but was always advised to "ignore it."
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She urged her friends to recognize that racism exists and to stop ignoring it.
"I did. But not anymore," Buss wrote. "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. #juneteenth #hatewontwin."
Lakers all-star forward LeBron James included a shout-out to Buss in his Instagram story, writing "Love you Jeanie!!!" surrounded by heart emojis and giving the finger to Joe.
The Lakers gave their players and staff off Friday to observe Juneteenth, encouraging them to "use the day to pause, further educate ourselves and reflect on both the history and the current state of race in our country," according to a statement from the team.
The Lakers announced a donation Friday in celebration of Juneteenth to More Than A Vote, the organization recently started by James and a group of other prominent Black athletes and entertainers aimed at protecting African Americans' voting rights. The amount of the donation was not announced.
The donation announcement came one day after the Lakers announced the hiring of UCLA African American studies and sociology professor Karida Brown as their director of Racial Equity & Action.