Fans Dig Up JJ Redick’s Alleged History of Using Racial Slurs as Duke Student Says New Lakers Head Coach Called Her the N-word

After formally being introduced as the 29th head coach in Los Angeles Lakers franchise history, rumors that JJ Redick has used racial slurs in the past have begun to arise.

The former NBA star sparked countless debates when reports surfaced that he agreed to a head coaching contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. While his lack of previous coaching experience was widely discussed, his hiring has also brought some racial allegations back to the forefront.

Halleemah Nash, a social media user whose bio states she is a Duke University alum, accused Redick of calling her the N-word while on the school’s campus. Redick played college basketball at Duke from 2002-2006 and was named the National College Player of the Year after his final season with the Blue Devils.

JJ Redick Accused of Calling Black Duke Student the N-Word
New Lakers coach JJ Redick (left) is under a spotlight for an alleged history of using racial slurs as former Duke student Halleemah Nash (right) said this week that Redick called her the N-word while they were both at the North Carolina university. (Photos: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images, @halleemah/X)

“I’ve only been called the N word to my face by a white man once in my life and it was on the campus of Duke University while I was doing work with the basketball team,” tweeted Nash on June 25. “And today he was named the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. What a world.”

In a separate tweet Nash added, “For context, this was years ago and Im a believer that we all have space to grow- especially from our college level maturity. We live in a world where these exchanges happen and the intersection of race and privilege and lack of accountability all collided w/that presser.”

According to a LinkedIn page bearing Nash’s name, she coordinated a ‘Blue Devil Inner City Youth Project’ with the university’s basketball team from 2003 to 2004.

Representatives for Redick categorically denied any wrongdoing after Nash’s social media post drew more than 18 million views and counting.

“No, it never happened,” a spokesperson told TMZ Sports.

Although it is unclear whether or not Redick actually said the word, fans still shared their reactions to the claims.

“A lot of people are too young to remember JJ at Duke but those who can, probably aren’t too shocked by this story,” one person wrote on X.

“I remember him, he was one of my favorite players, and I’m definitely shocked,” another person stated.

However, this would not be the first time Redick has been in the spotlight over his usage of a racial slur. The most recent allegations caused fans to dig up a few other instances in which the former NBA star was accused of using derogatory language.

In 2018, Redick faced backlash after he appeared to use the Asian slur “chink.” Redick was attempting to wish basketball fans a happy Chinese New Year, but he seemingly used derogatory wording instead.

Redick appears in a video to wish “all the NBA chink fans of China a very happy Chinese New Year.”

He was playing for the Philadelphia 76ers at the time of the incident.

He later apologized for using the slur and claimed it was simply the result of being “tongue-tied” and that the word was not a part of his “vocabulary.”

“Clearly, I was tongue-tied, as the word I purportedly said is not in my vocabulary. I’m disappointed that anyone would think I would use that word,” tweeted in February 2018.

He then attempted to offer an explanation for his actions.

“[S]o sorry for upsetting anyone,” before saying he intended to say something else.
“I was intending to say ‘NBA Chinese fans. It sounded weird in my mind so I changed it mid-sentence to ‘NBA fans in China’… It came out the wrong way.”

He continued, “At the time we recorded it, no one in the room … heard the word that I purported to say. Had I known it sounded anything like that, I would have been mortified and recorded the greeting over again.”

The apology tweets have since been deleted.

Redick also appeared to deal with a sticky situation in his personal life when he was accused of calling his ex-girlfriend a “dirty n—ger” and a “sp-c” because she did not terminate her pregnancy as required by a purported “abortion contract.”

The contents of the contract, which purportedly was drawn up in 2007, were originally posted by gossip site MediaTakeout as an exclusive in 2013. Redick, who was a 22-year-old rookie in 2007, allegedly entered into an agreement with model Vanessa Lopez that if she were to become pregnant she would terminate the pregnancy and they would remain in a relationship for at least a year following the procedure. If Redick reneged on their agreement to remain together he was to pay Lopez $25,000. If they were to break up and Lopez was not with child, Redick would have no obligations and any further contact from Lopez would be considered stalking.

Lopez claims she became pregnant, and the NBA rookie became enraged.

Emails purportedly were sent from Redick to Lopez just after she had an abortion at 16 weeks in 2007. In 2014, Lopez shared the alleged emails with pro-life website LifeNews after announcing she was intending to write a book about her experience.

An email allegedly sent from Redick to Lopez on Sept. 13, 2007 read: “Vanessa, We need to confirm you did it. It will now get easier for you trust me. If you really did the abortion just do the exam to prove it.”

The second purported email was sent from Redick to Lopez’s brother on Sept. 26, 2007 and included multiple slurs and allegedly an image of a monkey.

“Greg, My brother in law left her a voicemail calling her a dirty n—ger. We’ve got problems if that stupid sp-c leaks it. What the f—k can we do?”

In July 2013, Redick took to Twitter to deny the allegations launched against him by Lopez.

In a series of tweets he said, “I’d like to respond to the outrageous, false and malicious media reports regarding a prior relationship between myself and V Lopez in 2007. Ms Lopez was not and has never been pregnant with a child fathered by me. And Ms. Lopez did not and has never terminated a pregnancy of a child fathered by me. Continued attention to these lies is severely damaging to myself and my family. Thank you.”

It was never determined whether the accusations had any veracity. Lopez has a history of making unproven claims against professional athletes, including Shaquille O’Neal. In 2010, she filed a lawsuit claiming the former player was stalking her following their affair.

TMZ reports that a judge ripped Lopez in dismissing her suit in 2013, saying, “[Lopez] lied often. She lied about facts important to the defense, and she demonstrated an utter disrespect for the system of justice.”

Lopez has not since come out to retract her claims about Redick. As for the Lakers’ new head coach, he has not personally responded to the discourse surrounding his alleged use of the N-word toward his Duke schoolmate.

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