A West Los Angeles home owned by LeBron James was vandalized Wednesday morning at 6:44 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department officer Norma Eisenman confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. James was not present when the vandalism took place, Eisenman said.
A racial slur was painted on the gate of the Brentwood neighborhood estate but has since been covered over by property management, Eisenman said. Police did not provide details on what the racial slur was.
The news was first reported by TMZ.
The LAPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime and an official police report is expected later Wednesday. Eisenman did not specify if security footage is being used as part of the investigation to identify any suspects for the graffiti.
The home was bought by James in 2015. James' primary residence during the NBA season is in Akron, Ohio, though he is currently preparing for his third consecutive NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors. This series will mark James' seventh consecutive NBA Finals. Games 1 and 2 are in Oakland, Calif.
James, a global icon, has spoken out against racism throughout his career.
After Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was the target of racial slurs while playing against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, James said, "Racism, we know, exists. You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is gonna be. But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much, and they have to go out and live it themselves. For me, I just try to be respectful, for one, respectful to others, and I feel like if you do that consistently, then I believe the karma will come back to you."