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: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:33 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Remember, young minorites: whenever something happens that you don't like, throw the race card around until someone bends over backwards to accomodate you.

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:31 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I've read several posts on here and I like yours the best. :-)  Jordan overcame the same kind of sorry cast that Lequitter has had and made do with what he had to win championships.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:28 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Hey Lebron,

I'm black, and I don't live in Cleveland and was not a fan, The thing I didn't like was the way you went about it. That PR circus was total bs , when you knew you were going to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat!!! And then you say you made your my up that Tue, yeah right.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:25 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

15 Yards for improper use of the race card. This infraction is an insult to the black race and exploitation of affirmative action sentiment. How can a professonial athlete blame his own stupidity on a race issue? It can be argued that this mentality and over use of the 'race card' is furthering racism amongst non - blacks.

Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:21 pm

LeBron is a FOOL

I agree wholeheartedly with .. "How does that statistic mean anything about race?  Just because more white people thought it was bad decision?  If it was about race then those people wouldn't have liked you in the first place."

While race still plays too big a part in our society, more times than not, the people that mention it have NO clue as to what real racism is.  I've never liked LeBron and hope the Heat fail miserably.  If that makes me racist, well I guess I'll just have to learn to live with it. 

Since: Jun 11, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:21 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I am a middle income white guy.  I admired Lebron  - and the fans of the Land of Cleves because they had a homegrown boy (read young man) that stayed home to play ball.  This comes at a time when not many players want to play in places like Cleveland or Detroit without overpaying them.  He then leaves to go to Miami, like many (white black and latino) who want to play in places like New York Miami or Los Angeles.  I respect their reasoning for doing so.  (Marketing their image, better climate for their family and such). 

That does not mean that a middle income white guy hates rich black people.  We're just disappointed in the decision Lebron made.  Nothing more and nothing less.  I will try and persuade my kid to buy a jersey other than Lebron's, just as he is trying to persuade us that he's the Man, and always has been.  Hold it - does that mean that he hates white people?

Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:19 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Poor LeBron, I just hope he gets his life back on track

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:17 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This country is a joke-Robman

Couldn't have said it any better

Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:14 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Race? Are u frickin serious LeBron? Dude, get a life. You are so self absorbed and have no problem letting your ex-black coach, go down in flames, to jump ship to pat riley and his young white coach....please...Save it James...The NBA is going to suffer as a whole with like 3 or 4 great teams and the rest having absolutely no chance...You screwed Cleveland by basically quitting against Boston....You will never be Micheal, Magic, Or that dreaded white guy, Larry. They did it their way, on their own teams...You have to put together an All-Star team to win the championship? By the way, even if you DO win it, nobody cares...Good luck to ya.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:07 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

You can't just place all of us black people into one group and I think you are dead wrong to say all of us are more tolerant to the stupid black athletes that make bad choices.  The men I know are tired of those guys... 

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