Now, almost a year ago to the day, James' home was the target of racially-motivated vandalism.
As long as his family remains safe, James is willing to be an example for the discussion of racial issues in the country and "keep the conversation going and can shed light on us trying to figure out a way", James explained.
Till was a 14-year-old black American who was bashed till he was unrecognisable, then shot through the head and dumped in the river for talking to a white woman in MS during the 1950s.
NBA superstar LeBron James' Los Angeles home was vandalized by someone who spray-painted the N-word over his front gate on the eve of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
"Just shows that racism will always be a part of the world, part of America", he said.
Although James is thankful for the safety of his family, he feels there is a long way to go in terms of equality for everyone in society. "I got a promotion when I got to the 30s", James said.More news: Families reflect on military service at Phoenix National Cemetery
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James said as he has aged and experienced more success, he has moved on from that focus.
"Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day. So this is kind of killing me inside right now". Even though people hide their faces and will say things about you and when they see you, they smile in your face.
"I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own auto and being able to leave the house on his own", James said. I'm at a point in my life where my priorities are in place, and basketball comes second to my family. I will be as focused as I can be on the job at hand tomorrow, but this is a situation where it puts me back in place of what's actually more important. "Basketball is not the most important thing in my life". "It really is something - to me - that symbolizes loss", said historian and museum director Lonnie Bunch.
But for LeBron James to talk about it in the manner in which he did - and to use the late Emmett Till as part of his teaching moment - is more than special.
And lately, several videos have gone viral, showing people spewing hateful speech on a daily basis.
On Wednesday, James was both downbeat and an eager messenger.