For the uninitiated, Vecsey was nearly quoting The Notorious B.I.G., who rapped “Picture me being scared of a n—- that breathe the same air as me.” That context certainly helps, but it’s still a rather uncomfortable tweet.
Do the asterisks help? Yes. But if you count the number, it alludes to a word that ends in “er” – not the one that ends in “a”, which Biggie used.
Amid criticism, Vecsey defended himself:
Ta-Nehisi Coates recently spoke about why white people shouldn’t use the n-word:
I generally agree with that, and I’d urge Vecsey to consider it. But I also believe in the principle of freedom of speech, and if after introspection (or even without it), Vecsey stands by his words, that’s his prerogative.
Also, yes, Kanter has stood up to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But LeBron called American President Donald Trump a “bum.” Kanter didn’t have a monopoly on political bravery in that stare-down.