Blog Entry

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:23 am
Edited on: September 30, 2010 1:05 pm
Posted by Royce Young

In an appearance on Wednesday night's edition of "Primetime" on CNN , LeBron James replied that he thought race was a factor in the negative response to his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat .

"I think so, at times," he told CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien. "It's always, you know, a race factor."

Some are likely rolling their eyes, but in a way, the statistics back it up.

Q Score is a poll that measures popularity and LeBron dropped (or jumped, depending on how you look at it) to No. 6 on the list. But among non-blacks, James' negative Q rating went from 24 percent to 44 after his free-agency announcement. However, among blacks, his negative Q Score slipped just from 14 percent to 15 percent.

That seems like something.

LeBron's adviser and marketing guru Maverick Carter was also part of the interview and he agreed about the role of race in the media backlash. "It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure," Carter said.

I don't really know how to touch this topic so I'll kind of stay away and let you decide yourself on it. But as to why one color of people reacted differently to LeBron's decision than the other, I don't know. I don't even want to really take a guess as to why.

One thing that does stick out is that James just said race played a factor and then left it at that. He didn't elaborate. He didn't fill us in. He just whipped out that big shiny race card, dropped it on the table and walked away. And as a result, the door was left wide open for people to criticize, speculate and question his use of it. 

As for "The Decision" itself, James said that was his and the people around him's idea. But Carter admitted it wasn't perfect.

"The execution could have been a little better and I take some of the blame for that."

He also said something else I found interesting about LeBron's marketing approach: "It's just about control and not doing it the way it's always been done or not looking the way that it always looks."

Well evidently it's about control. A one-hour special where you control your own message and deliver it exactly how you want? Yep, that's pretty controlling. And that was a big part of the backlash over it.

But it was noted in the report that over $3 million was raised for the Boys and Girls Club of America from "The Decision." That's a good thing that's been largely ignored from that night. That's not going to save LeBron's popularity score, but still, a good thing.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:42 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Oh must be race.  I mean, there's no way that the manner in which LeBron turned the summer into his own narcisstic dream, pimped himself to ESPN and corporate sponsorships, turned his back on the Cleveland fan base and took the p*ssy way out of things by joining up with two other stars could have ANYTHING to do with people disliking him.

Congrats Queen James, you've officially lost this sports fan's support. 

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:37 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Black people thought OJ was innocent too. Doesnt mean jack squat.
Lebron James -  Didn't give a F**K about him in Cleveland, don't give a F**K about him in Miami!
Although now I do think he is a douchebag, without regard to race

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:34 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I can't believe it. This egomaniacal piece of stool has actually made me wish Tim Tebow was back in the news. James can't go a week without seeing himself in the headlines, can he?
hey, if you want to read a Tebow post, just google him.

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:30 pm

Just blame whitey!

Lebron is still a dope...

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:26 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Really, that is all you got to back this claim up is hear say and opinions? Race did not play in the backlash, Americans do not like big egos period. If you put yourself above the fans and the league this will be response you get. I'm pretty sure King or shall i say Prince James had an Ego that was kept hidden for quite awhile. Remember the arctile of Coach K not wanting him on the USA team because of his ego issues and other players had to promise to keep him under control. Look the kid has game and no doubt the Heat have a squad, but Lebron's Ego will be pitfall of this team. Just wait and see my friends. Also, are you saying Jordan had players the caliber of Bosh and Wade with him NO. Shaq is a top 20 player of all time. Boston three Amigos were not in their prime when they joined the Celts. This compares to nothing in NBA history.

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:22 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Honestly i'm from Seattle and could care less where this cry baby went to in the offseason. I liked watching him play, but now after he publicly spurned his home town, and pulls out the race card because of the backlash he recieved for it, I cant stand the little douche bag. I hope Miami misses the playoffs and we get to see this bum cry some more. And Royce is as much of an idiot that LBJ is, trying to take it to the next level...who's the real racists???

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:18 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Jordan did not win until Pippen joined him. Kobe did not win until Shaq joined him. Bird didn't win until he got McHale and Robert Parrish.
Paul Pierce did not win until they became "the Three Amigos", Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
This has been done throughout the NBA history.
Why is this different? Because there is a new hostility toward independent young Black athletes making their own decisions and multi millions.
This stems from an overall increased hostility caused by right wing media, right wing sports talk shows vilifying the young Black superstars. (Rush and Dovonan McNabb). And right wing "armchair fans" who are willing to cut someone like Ben Roethesberger a break, and not Tiger woods. The exact same way right wing media vilifies the President.
So what if James had a TV show announcing his decision; it was one of the most highly rated shows broadcast ever on ESPN.
The "real" great ones did their own "deals" and had help.
Perceptions unfortunately are all wrong in this case.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:12 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

When all else fails and you know you f'd up play the race card.  Why not?  You took the easy way out, by signing with Miami.  Why not try and make this a race thing and ignore the fact that you, LBJ,  stabbed your owner, your teammates, your fans and your home town in the back.  These were the people that have suported you all along.  Why not make it out that they're just a bunch of racists that you needed to get away from. 

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:12 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I doubt Lebron has ever had to face racism in his life! If anything this is the first time people haven't been kissing his behind!!! I get that he will make more money in endorsements by winning a championship in a bigger market! The interviewer makes her living off racism, so of course she's going to push it! And yes their are people who profit from both sides of racism!  And Yes, we still have a race problem in this country but he didn't have to go there! It's an embarrassment to those who really do face racism!

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:12 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

blame race all u want, but the backlash differential of whites to blacks could be that 95 % of the people paying 73 dollars or more a ticket to see him play are white.  the race card gets old, get over yourself leBRO and move on.  could of been a legend and now you have a tainted career

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