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LeBron James DEFENDS RICHARD SHERMAN Smart People Can't Be 'Thugs'

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People who graduate from Stanford CAN'T be "thugs" ... so says LeBron James, who just defended Richard Sherman by throwing around his academic accomplishments.

James just tweeted, "I don't know one 'thug' that graduated from Stanford and also working on their Masters! Dont judge a book by its cover.'

LeBron is clearly reacting to the onslaught of Sherman critics who labelled Sherman as a "thug" after his epic NFC championship rant.

Sherman recently blasted the people who called him a "thug" ... saying it bothers him because "it seems like it's an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now." For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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