Hip-Hop

Sportswriter Peter Vecsey Uses Censored Racial Slur in a Notorious B.I.G.-Quoting Tweet About LeBron James

peter vecsey
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Peter Vecsey

Last night, NBA superstar LeBron James got into a minor spat with a couple of players on the New York Knicks, whose team James' Cleveland Cavaliers ultimately defeated in a close, tightly fought game. One of those players was Knicks center Enes Kanter, who got in LeBron's face after the latter collided on a play with Kanter's rookie teammate Frank Ntilikina.

The game of course saw a huge response on NBA Twitter, including from longtime sports columnist and former TV personality Peter Vecsey. Taking Kanter's side in the beef, he wrote that the Knicks center would not be "intimidated by LeBron" as a "guy who stood up 2 Tayyip Erdogan" -- the current president of Kanter's home country of Turkey (whom the center had previously called the "Hitler of our century"). 

He ended the tweet by commenting, "Imagine him being scared of a n***** who breathes the same air as him" -- the latter part referring to LeBron.

The comment, as many hip-hop fans noted, was a direct quote of a Notorious B.I.G. lyric (from sophomore album Life After Death's "N----s Bleed"). But Vecsey's failure to make the reference obvious -- as well as Vecsey's use of the N-word in any capacity, as a white person, particularly since the number of asterisks he used suggests the version of the word that ends in "-er" -- drew understandable backlash on Twitter.

Despite the controversy, Vecsey has not backed down from or deleted the original tweet, instead spending the morning retweeting the accounts of fans who support his usage of the lyric. He also responded to another writer last night who wrote a critical article about his tweet by calling it "bull shit" that "white people can't quote rap lyrics." See Vecsey's tweet, and some of those accounts he retweeted, below.  

Billboard has reached out to Vecsey for further comment.