In a matter of billionaires squabbling over chump change, NBA superstar LeBron James said Friday he won’t pay for a blue checkmark on Twitter ahead of the Elon Musk-owned company’s Saturday deadline.
The Key Facts
“Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” James tweetedFriday afternoon
James appears to be referring to the $8 monthly fee for Twitter Blue, the social media’s premium service that offers verification to all paid users and will be the only way for individuals to receive the coveted blue checkmark beginning Saturday when the company starts to remove verification badges from accounts verified under the company’s old regime.
James, whose 53 million Twitter followers make him one of the site’s most popular users, quickly went viral for his quip, picking up more than 70,000 likes in the first hour of his post.
Reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes also said Friday he won’t pay for Twitter Blue, explaining he has kids to take care of (the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback’s $51.5 million in 2022 earnings made him the fourth-highest paid player in the NFL).
An outspoken critic of Twitter’s supposed liberal bias in its content policies, Musk bought the firm for $44 billion last October. Musk immediately took over as Twitter’s CEO and dramatically overhauled the company, firing thousands of employees and quickly rolling out a widely-panned process for paid users to get a verification badge previously reserved for prominent accounts and organizations. Musk claimed last month that the previous verification process had been corrupt.
According to Forbes, Musk’s estimated value is $201 billion SME’ latest calculations, making him the second-wealthiest person in the world and by far the richest man in the nation. James, who is currently or recently retired from the NBA, has a value of $1 billion. He joins Michael Jordan as being the only billionaire NBA player last year.
The Crucial Quote
“I’m not buying no apps, I’m not paying for it,” James said in a viral 2017 interview with journalist Rachel Nichols, who reposted the clip in a reply to the NBA star’s Twitter Blue post. James confirmed he’s the “cheapest player in the NBA” despite his $432 million in career on-court earnings in the interview, adding he wouldn’t pay for data roaming or ad-free Pandora.
Several other celebrities say they won’t pay up for a blue check, including actor William Shatner, author Stephen KingRapper Ice T. The news organizations include the New York Times Washington Post They also stated that they wouldn’t pay for verification. In a Sunday reply to Shatner’s question, Musk supported the policy shift. writing there “shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities” to get verified, despite pushback the removal of legacy verified badges could lead to an increase in impersonation and trolling.
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