LeBron James isn't paying for Twitter Blue. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LeBron James isn’t paying for Twitter Blue. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

In yet another innovative and forward-thinking move, Twitter CEO Elon Musk expects people to pay for a website on which roleplaying as Stephen A. Smith at a PF Chang’s does big numbers. Verified checkmarks are going away Saturday for any user who isn’t subscribed to Twitter Blue, Musk’s latest creation. If you’re willing to pay $8 per month for a free website, you can keep your verified checkmark.

Musk reportedly told employees that Twitter is valued at roughly $20 billion now, after he purchased the company for $44 billion in October. Ad revenue is reportedly down 89% since Musk purchased the website. Surely, Twitter Blue will make up that difference?

Not so fast. It appears that some of the biggest athletes in the world are unconcerned about losing their verification status on Twitter. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is among that group, saying he’s not paying to keep his checkmark.

Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. 🤷🏾‍♂️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 31, 2023

He’ll be joined by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who joked that he’s not paying for Chiefs players to retain their checkmarks because he’s "got kids."

Can’t bro i got kids… https://t.co/dP0DlmVaDl

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) March 31, 2023

They weren’t the onlyathletes to chime in. Tyreek Hill, Darius Slay and Michael Thomas all said they wouldn’t pay for Twitter Blue.

It doesn’t need to be said, but both James and Mahomes can easily afford to pay $8 per month. James is making $44 million this season, and Mahomes signed a $450 million contract in 2020.

Money isn’t the issue for either player, which is bad news for Musk. James and Mahomes simply don’t care or don’t see the value in remaining verified on Twitter. And if they don’t view it as important, why would other notable celebrities care?

Then again, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is among the sports figures to purchase a subscription. Unfortunately for Cuban, that doesn’t seem to be working out for him.

@elonmusk , question for you. I’m losing about 500 to 1k users a day. To counter this I went Blue² thinking it gave me some preference and would help retain or grow users. Any suggestions ?

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 31, 2023

There are, of course, more sinister possibilities that could occur once verified checkmarks get wiped from the site. Actor Jason Alexander summed it up well, saying anyone could pretend to be him if they pay $8.

Friends, there are bigger issues in the 🌎than the blue verified ✔️next to my name on this account. But without it, anyone can allege to be me. So, if I lose that ✔️ know I will leave this platform. Anyone appearing with it=an imposter. I tell you this while I’m still official.

— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) March 28, 2023

Alexander said he would leave the site once that happens. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see other celebrities follow suit if imposters become a significant issue among Twitter Blue subscribers.

It’s possible James will keep his checkmark even after Saturday’s purge. Notable companies and personalities will reportedly remain verified even if they aren’t subscribed to Twitter Blue.

In the event that James does lose his verified checkmark, though, expect him to stay true to his word. James admitted to being the cheapest player in the NBA in 2017, saying he refused to pay for an ad-free Pandora account.