This Thursday Twitter revealed it was removing the blue badges of verified accounts unless they paid for the checkmark subscription. As Lakers superstar LeBron James had announced he wasn’t ever going to buy it, the social platform decided to keep it for him.
Last month, the all-time highest scorer in the NBA said it felt almost embarrassing to pay for the Twitter Blue subscription. “Welp guess my blue will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” James tweeted on March 31.
So billionaire entreprenuer Elon Musk stepped in as head of the social media company and is helping out the veteran athlete.
As soon as social media realized James had kept his blue badge, users went into a meltdown saying they had caught the basketball star lying as they believed he had bought the verified account. However, that’s when Musk came in to let everyone know LeBron had stayed true to his word.
According to the report, a Twitter employee emailed James to “extend a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk.”
In spite of this, USA Today reported that a person familiar with the situation assured the basketball star rejected the offer when the social platform reached out. Musk later confirmed on the Twitter that he is offering this benefit to some celebrities.
“I’m paying for a few personally,” the CEO wrote.
Not many celebrity athletes recieved the same courtesy as LeBron did
Other NBA stars such as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Ja Morant used to have legacy verified accounts up until this Thursday, but lost their blue checks, unlike LeBron.
Right after Musk became CEO of Twitter, users were given the option of buying the blue badge with a new subscription of $8 a month, adding extra features to it. However, users who already were verified still maintained their status until this week.
However, the Los Angeles superstar is not too worried about Twitter at the moment, as he must maintain his focus on the first-round playoff matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers are currently tied 1-1 in the series as the next contest will be this Saturday at 10pm ET in California.
When asked what is Twitter’s new goal, Musk said that protecting the freedom of expression is his biggest objective. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” he told the press this week. “The speech needs to be as transparent and truthful as possible, so we’ve had a huge push on Twitter to be as truthful as possible.
“We put a lot of effort into ensuring that the community does not get gamed or have biases, it simply cares about what is the most accurate thing.”
The Lakers star was furious five months ago when he realized that Twitter would even permit words like “nig***” to be used on the social platform.