The Cleveland Cavaliers star used Instagram on Monday to call out the company for advertising on its e-commerce site in the U.K. showing a black child model wearing a hoodie that reads, “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.”
“U got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up!” James wrote in his caption for an edited version of the H&M ad made by artist Chris Classic, who had superimposed crowns on the boy’s head and sweatshirt, and added the label: “KING OF THE WORLD.”
“Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo,” James wrote in his post, which he addressed to H&M’s official account. “I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!
“We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!” he added.
Manchester United soccer star Romelu Lukaku made a similar statement with this edited version of the H&M picture:
H&M apologized and pulled the picture on Monday.
“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” a company spokesperson told The Wrap, adding that it was now investigating the incident to prevent it from happening again.
Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to clarify that James did not create the image he shared on Instagram.