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: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:07 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

;     I think the fact that the media never argues the other side of a statistic as being ignorant of another race issue. Why couldnt you see the black race as being biased towards their own color. Why is it always spun that it's white people hating on blacks...when it could be that black people never see faults in their own race the same way they see the faults of white people. I dont care what race you are....what Lebron did was betray a city to ride Dwayne Wade to a championship because he couldnt do it himself. Now normally that wouldnt be an issue...but the media is Lebron's bitch and we've all been made to think Lebron is by far the best basketball player of this era... so we as NBA fans expected him to lead a team to an NBA championship...not leave a city that loved him to whore out to a bunch of other superstars
to clutch up for him when he disappears in the key moments of deciding playoff games for him. The best player in basketball is Koby Bryant...and before him the most dominating player was Shaq....when Shaq left for Miami...he was forced out... it wasnt him selling out...and I still continued to be a fan of both players. I am white. Race had nothing to do with why I did or didtn like those players. But Lebron is different.  It should've pissed blacks off just as much as whites. But it didnt. Now let's take a look at another exmaple to explain my point.  For instance... the statistics showed that blacks overwhelmingly supported Barrack Obama far more than any other race this last election. The numbers showed that as many as 70 to 80% of blacks voted supported Barrack Obama. That's a majority so would have to say that blacks voted not only on issues...but according to their own race. It's racial biased...and I can sight a hundred other issues in which black people are biased towards their own race statistically. WHITE PEOPLE are not the enemy anymore...and society needs to stop taking statistics and making one sided arguments based on them...when the exact opposite of the argument could be true. In my opinion there are more racist black people than white people today. Chew on that shit.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:06 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Honestly all these comments sound like they come from people who hate LeBron because he somehow DOESN'T DESERVE THE RIGHT TO BE IN THE DRIVERS SEAT. He's clearly the best 1 or 2 people on the planet at the game SO HE DESERVES TO MAKE DECISION HOW EVER HE WANTS. Its not like people are mad when Steve Jobs announces a new Apple product or if Bret Farve takes 7 years to decide if he's retired. They're looked at like innovators but LeBron somehow is an over paid jerk???

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:02 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This whole "it's a race thing" has gotten old....very old.  Each time when something doesn't go right in someone's eyes regarding receiving "backlash", criticism, a demotion, termination, "unfair treatment", "questioning", or a change in normality; it's always the "race card" or "race thing" that get thrown out there as an excuse to stupid, or corrupt behavior,. 

First of all, The Decision was just plain moronic and shows nothing but egotism of James' part.  Secondly, his fan base will continue to dramatically decrease anywhere outside of Miami, FL since people are quickly stating that Lebron James "is just not the guy I thought he was".  There is no doubt that Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley will continue to be critical of James and will not defend him as they would under normal conditions if he showed signs of being a genuine human being who showed that he actually cares about and for people outside of his immediate family and friends.....uh..I mean entourage.

More and more people will be rooting against this young man who has a lot of growing up to do.  He better right the ship quickly or his "legacy" will be tarnished forever no matter what statistical numbers he achieves, records he may shatter, or championships he wins.

Seriosuly, ask yourself this question.  How many Caucasian, Spanish, Asian, Indian, European, or Middle Eastern people do you know in sports or in society, in general, that time and time again make comments about...."well, it's a race thing", or "it's racial", or "it's because I'm White, or Indian, or Asian, or European, or Middle Eastern"?

Surely Dr. Martin Luther King would be turning in his grave if he knew how often this same "race card" thing has been played since his unfortunate death in 1968.  Dr. King was a leader of people and a complete humanitarian, not a racist.  He would be mortified by this continual behavior that we see time after time in today's world about "everything went wrong because it was racial".

Wrong.  Try again.  Pick another excuse.  It's not because of race.  It's because of the individual making bad choices, bad statements, and bad behavior which ultimately contribute to the circumstances that are realized surrounding that individual.

So in conclusion, if you're of African American decent, you are probably upset by these words, but you know that they are true.  If you are of any other ethical decent, you totally understand what I am writing about.

Lebron James needs to re-evaluate anything derogatory or implied about his  specific situation as being racial motivated.

We all are very tired of this same old thing over and over and over and over again.  It's gotten so old, and is nothing more than a pathetic excuse.  Man-up Lebron!

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:56 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

The question really should be is what is the percentage of non blacks buying paying the salaries.

Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:56 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

It's like he thinks that people all of a sudden realized he was black.  WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THIS. 

Ah man, I really liked him when he was white.  You know, back when he played for the Cavs he was a white man, right?  Now that he decided to be black since The Decision, I really dislike the guy enough to vote him down on his "Q Score"...  The fuck is this crap.

Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:54 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I don't think its about race but rather the current culture and the fact that he has always come off as being a self indulged, imature prick.  If Magic Johnson was going to leave the Lakers for the Celtics in the 80's, he could have had a show like this.  The difference is Magic was loved for his energy, ability, and that he respected the fans.  In todays economy with all the loss of money, homes, and jobs, do we really need to see a pretentious 20 something already worth millions rubbing his new contract in the face of everyone?  I thought this was the most poorly thought out and contrived bit of TV I have ever seen. 

I would also add that having the Vegas debacle, leading the city of Cleveland on, wearing NY gear to CLE sporting events, and traveling with a group of advisors that shielded him from fans, were also contributing.  After all of those things and the over played media attention on his free agency, I already had a bad taste in my mouth about the guy before the show even was announced. 

To a certain extent, we made him, now we have to live with him.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:54 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

The same people who immediately brandish as racists those who criticize president Obama are at work here. Using race is the last refuge of a scoundrel and a person without logic, merit nor any substance. it's easy and lazy.

If whites have the temerity to question someone of color they can expect this nonsense. It's up to logical thinking people( of all races) to not only dispel it, but also hold those calling them racists to task and exposing them for what they are. What's funny is those accusing are the bigest racists of them all.

James got what he deserved because he showed himself to be an ego maniac and never gave his owner even a phone call to tell him personally what was going down. Few would have ripped him for going to Miami other than questioning his leadership. The "decision" wasn't going to Miami, per se, but the galling way he delivered it. He made fans and admirers disgusted and now they're rooting against him hard. He's almost made Kobe likeable again.

I always liked James, but now I'd rather see any team but his win. I never liked Bosh, but always liked Wade. Now the 3 of them are IMO the biggest targets in the sport. I hope they understand what they're in for. They may win, but the adulation will only come from South Beach and those fans are hardly rabid.

Jesse Jackson is a disgrace and his comments were simply ignorant, self-serving and downright stupid. Imagine a philandering, adulterous reverend judging anyone?

Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:53 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

So, this article proves that blacks are the racists because they don't condemn a black man.  This says way more about the black community than the "racist" non black community.  For God's sake, how stupid is this shit? 

Real funny comment Lebron.  The way our respect is dropping daily has nothing to do with your skin color but stupid comments like this.   I used to love Lebron, but my respect has dwindled down to mere appreciation of his talent.  He deserves no respect for taking the pansy way out.  If he won a single championship in Cleveland, just one, then I'd consider him the greatest of all time.  And now, after he decides playing on an all star team against regular teams is the best way to go, how can we ever truly gauge his greatness?

It's dissapointing.

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:52 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Sure the reason we're mad at LeBron in Cleveland is racial.
When Manny Ramirez left Cleveland, we were mad at him because he's Hispanic.
When Jim Thome left Cleveland we were mad at him because he's White...
In Cleveland, we just hate everybody (that's why it's such a melting pot)....

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:52 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Race had nothing to do with it.  Nonsense.  Us Cleveland fans got burned.  Again.

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