Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler is currently one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. But before he reached his stature, the 30-year-old swingman also experienced blatant racism in public.

As the tensions concerning social injustice continue to intensify in the country, the Heat hosted an online town hall discussion among its players and staff on Friday. The day also coincided with the observance of Juneteenth — which marks the holiday of the effective end of slavery.

Butler bravely recounted the time he was hurt by the words coming from a little white kid, who was accompanied by his father at the time. Per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:

“A white man and his son, who is no older than maybe 6 — I'm walking with my brother, and we hear the kid turn around and say, ‘Hey, Dad, those are those n-words that you are telling me about,'” the Heat star shared.

“The kid doesn't know any better. My initial reaction was to turn around and look at the father's face. I'm 6-6 and my brother is 6-1 and he's probably 6-foot, and yeah, he was intimidated by me. But the first thing that popped in my head was you had to [have] taught him that. [The kid] doesn't know that. My daughter, I have to teach her that the stove is hot. You are choosing to teach your kid hate.”

The five-time All-Star went on to preach about the importance of honing young minds about equality, so that future generations will no longer receive the same treatment.

“It was so confusing to me because I was 16. … To me that is what all of this stems from. Everybody is being taught this hate, and it is super hurtful. You know the difference between right and wrong. For that parent to teach his kid at that young of an age, there is no other word for it except for wrong. This is crazy, this is the world that we live in. Now is the time to change,” Jimmy Butler added.

Before his ascent to superstardom, Butler endured a tough upbringing in Houston, Texas. He was practically homeless at 13 years old before a friend's family took him in.

The Heat, on the other hand, has improved drastically in Butler's first tenure with the team. They had a 41-24 record before the 2019-20 season was suspended, paving the way for them to get an invite to the resumption of the season in Orlando on July 30.