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: Aug 24, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 10:46 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash


Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 10:24 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

LeBron's a piece a of Garbage a sell out piece of sheit

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 10:16 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This is terrible for his image!  He seems so ignorant thinking that race actually has something to do with people not liking him for how he handled leaving Cleveland, and how he handled joining the Heat.  The whole ESPN special and big party in Miami introducing him with Wade and Bosh.  The whole thing was just sickening and had NOTHING to do with race, and everything to do with LEBRON and his EGO.  Yeah, you are a free agent and can sign with whoever you want, but do so in a respectful manor.  Have there ever been live broadcasts before about a players "Decision"?  Not that I remember... I have heard breaking news flashes online, on the radio, and on t.v. but never a live "special" about a player signing a contract.  Get over yourself Lebron, I hope you never win anything.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 10:14 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

How about the 30 people in the Heat's ticket sales department who are out of a job? Who needs salespeople when you sell the season out? They didn't re-assign them, just fired 'em all. Maybe Lebron can hold another "decision" and find 3 million for these people.

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 10:02 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Now Lebronz will be even more hated. He told the truth though. Check out a great take on the whole amazing race card at:

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:18 am

As a marketing guru, Maverick could use some help

I keep reading the term marketing guru in context with Maverick Carter.  I don't know if writers are being tongue-in-cheek or if they actually believe it.  But from reading his comment above ("I'll take SOME of the blame for that") and based on the avoidable PR disaster that was "the Decision," I don't get the impression that Maverick is exceptionally PR savvy.  He doesn't seem to understand how to interpret, forecast or shape public perception. That's clear from his dodging the brunt of the responsibility for LeBron's current mess.

Also, the fact that he let LeBron throw out race as an issue is evidence that he doesn't know what he's doing. Playing the race card now is about the dumbest thing LeBron could do short of running for president of the North American Man/Boy Love Association or joining a satanic cult.  And the timing of this couldn't be much worse.

LeBron and his posse may be "street smart" but he could sure use some professional marketing support.

As for the greater percentage of whites being turned off than blacks (Q score), it might have something to do with the fact that a higher percentage of whites are more educated and have less tolerance for someone as gifted as LeBron behaving like the spoiled narcissist he is. 

NOTE: The previous statement isn't meant to imply that the white race is "smarter" than the black race; it simply means that more of the white population get more education, see the magnitude of LeBron's opportunity and recognize that he and his marketing team are "blowing it."

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:06 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I suppose race plays a part in everything... But, as mentioned, fans in Cleveland loved him before (when he was black) and hated him after (when he was black)... In this case, it's not very relevant...

For me, I recognize sports is a business.. Hey, if Lebron James wants to have fun with his buddies in Florida and have a shot to play for championship, go for it... Sports is a business and he is an employee looking for work elsewhere...  HOWEVER, when you have a 1 hour ESPN show, it makes a fan wonder: "Is this guy self-centered and arrogant?"...

And, then, when you have that event in Miami (where you, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade dance and rap in front of a bunch of people), it makes a fan wonder: "Is this guy a businessman, or just a punk?"

For me, it made him look like a punk, rapping in front of a bunch of pathetic fans... (Did they pay for that?)...  Egomaniac...

The public builds people up, then knocks them down... That's part of the deal.. Seems like Lebron is whining about it....

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:06 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Seriously, LeBron. The backlash is in no way, shape or form a race issue. I don;t think leaving Cleveland is the biggest issue. The real issue is the way you did it. You made a huge spectacle of going to Miami. You thought you could be bigger but that backfired. You have always been a stand-up guy, kept out of trouble and then you acked like a total jackwagon. If Steve Nash did what you did, he would have the same backlash. Race? Not a chance. You reallly need to get over yourself, man-up and admit that you over did it.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:50 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

He has to put it on something other than the "King" is a self absorbed immature @$$hole.  I'm black and think he is an @$$hole.  He certainly has the right to earn a check anyplace he choses.  How he went about it is what people hate about him.  

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:50 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

this is not a racial issue..its an a&%hole issue.....

c'mon Lebron, get eductaed and be a created this backlash now deal with it........

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