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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: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:58 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Black people tend to be more tolerant of black athletes bad choices and actions than white people.

Michael Vick, OJ, Artest,  etc.... All received much more support in the black community after their run ins with the law. 

Obviously Lebron doesn't belong with those examples but the end result in terms of support is the same. It's America. The fact is, there are a lot more white people for white kids to look up than black kids.  Take away sports and music and those numbers are greatly imbalanced.  There are very few CEOs of color...

Black people tend to be much more protective of their own. Especially someone like Lebron who may be a horses ass but has never robbed someone, started a brawl, sexually assaulted a woman or cheated on his wife. (he's smart enough not to get married) So while white people just write him off and look elsewhere it's not quite as easy on the reverse.

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:56 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Blaming race, sweet!

Now, I have ANOTHER reason to hate him!

I bet people hate TO because he's black, too. And, people criticized Eli Manning for his pre-draft move because he's white.

Thank you for putting everything in perspective, Lebron James.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:56 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Unbelievable, to pull the race card after the sham he and his "advisors" fabricated is an insult to those with real issues. He deceived a community that had supported him throughout his career. This was never a race issue this was always an issue of honor, loyalty and pride all of which was lost on a guy that chose to embarass the city and state that embraced him. Man up and take it instead of trying to deflect the criticism. I have never been a bigger Cav fan than I am now.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:54 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Sorry Lebron, race had nothing to do with the backlash, your TV event to let down all those fans living in your home state was disgraceful. We (black men) didn't burn your jerseys because many of us thought  that would be going overboard, so we donated them at the local GoodWill stores or threw them in the garbage. But please don't believe that garbage that black people have your back regardless. That's bull!  Most of the black men I know think you castrated yourself on national TV.  We see your move to Miami as a punk move.   Your respect with us is lost, even if you guys win a ring, you will still look like a coward because of the way you did it, as you could have left with respect.  Take your cowardly decision away, and many of us would still be pulling for you to some extent. 

It was not racism, so please stop making yourself look like a fool.  You need to fire Carter and find someone who cares about your image becuase it's going down the drain queen shames.

Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:53 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

The race card should never be thrown out unless one is 100% sure for obvious reasons.  What LeBron did was embarrass publically the team and the owner that had employed him and the fans that had adored him for 7 years.  He says he wanted to go to or build a team that could contend and win a championship now...but, didn't he have that in Cleveland.  They built a team around him that has been great for the last few years and that had the best record in the NBA last year!!!  Isn't that a contending team?  It was LeBron who disappeared in the playoffs against the Celtics. 

If anything, this issue is more about NBA superstars wanting to dictate who they play for, how much they get paid, etc.  While I agree players such as LeBron have rights that they can assert, the teams that employ them, the fans that fill the arenas to pay their salaries, and they NBA system that they work in deserve respect and loyalty as well. 

I personally do not have a problem with LeBron going to Miami, it is the way that he did it that bothered me greatly.  I don't wish LeBron good or bad luck..I don't care if Miami loses or wins.  I do cheer for my team that I have been a loyal fan of since around the mid-60's and want them to do great again this year.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:51 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that is often mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain . . . "There are three kinds of lies.  Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics."  Benjamin Disreali

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:42 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Ok, LeBron James, i respect his decision to leave for Miami, i respect that he gave that million he made from that show to charity, BUT come on, the backlash you had is NOT and i repeat, NOT about race!!!!! Why pull out the race card when it's not needed leBron??

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:39 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

how about it had a douche bag factor?  why does he have to bring race into it?  he says he wants it all to go away, but HE IS THE ONE BRINGING IT BACK TO THE FOREFRONT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jun 15, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:36 pm

LeFarve go away

I am hispanic, I live in a very mixed ethnic area and have friends from every possible ethnic background.  The one common thing we all can agree on is, LeFarve is an idiot.  The Decision was not needed and he could have made his statement the exact same time as Wade and Bosh.  I can't wait for this egomaniac to retire in 10 to 15 years.  When that happens I will be happy again.  Until then, I will hope and pray the other teams in the NBA all win championships and laugh in this jerks face.

The saddest part is, I used to watch him constantly, on ESPN when he was still in HS and obviously in the NBA.  But the whole pony show has turned me off to him, his new team, and the NBA as a whole.

Oh, and the $3 million raised for the BGCA is nice but doesn't do anything for me to help his image.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:35 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This is pathetic. He was one of the most well liked athletes in the world by all races.  Now people dont like him and it's because of race?  Come on man, you made a wrong move, own up to it and move on.

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