LeBron James Got 4 Times the Number of Abusive Messages of Other Athletes, per Study

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball during Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns Thursday, Jun 3, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

LeBron James may be one of the most popular athletes on the planet, but he was also the recipient of the most abuse on Twitter among athletes over the last year. 

According to a study by sports betting website Pickwise, James received 122,568 abusive messages between June 2020 and June 2021, or about 336 abusive messages per day (h/t Chris Pugh of the Akron Beacon Journal), the most among all current or former professional athletes. 

To put that number in perspective, the second most abused player on the list—Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford—received 32,328 abusive messages in that time period. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (28,151), Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant (24,370) and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace (21,750) were the others in the top five. 

Per Pugh, the data "was collected from Twitter posts with words, phrases and hashtags with abusive terms directed at athletes."

One of the disturbing trends from the study was that 16 of the 20 athletes who faced the most abuse are Black.