On Thursday, Twitter began removing the checkmarks of verified accounts unless they paid for a Twitter Blue subscription, but NBA star LeBron James kept his blue check despite previously saying he would never pay for it.
James keeping his verified badge surprised many, as the Los Angeles Lakers star publicly announced on the same platform that he would never pay to keep the check. (Twitter Blue costs $8.)
According to USA Today, a Twitter employee emailed James to “extend a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk. However, a person familiar with the situation said James declined the offer when Twitter reached out.
Musk, Twitter’s owner and CEO, confirmed on the social media platform that he is offering this benefit to some celebrities.
“I’m paying for a few personally,” Musk wrote.
Other NBA players such as Stephen Curry, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Ja Morant used to have legacy verified accounts but lost their blue checks on Thursday.
After Musk bought Twitter, users who were not verified were allowed to buy the checkmark with a Twitter Blue subscription of $8 a month, which also adds extra features like editing tweets.
Twitter users who were already verified had been able to keep their verification symbol. But in March, the company announced that the legacy verified program was ending soon.