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 18, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:49 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I hate to say this but this is the TRUTH, Blacks are uneducated so when something happens it's a race thing. This is why it will never change because African Americans will Always use the race card. If you take the educated black and ones that have good chachter they will agrre. Race this is a joke i was one to say about his decision was his to make and kudos to the 3 million made for Boy's and girl's club was great. But once again and always Blacks will always blame Race then maybe just don't say anything about it, or maybe I made a mistake and diserve critism!!

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:45 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Oh LeBron, wake up. We're not mad at you because of your race. We are mad at you because unlike all the greats that came before you, instead of earning yourself a championship for the city that showed you undying support and devotion no matter what, you turned your back and took the cowards way out. I am one fan that hopes you never, and I mean NEVER win a championship. I would have respected you more had you left for some giant contract. At least you would have shown yourself to be greedy as many athletes have before you. Instead, you basically told all loyal fans and even worse, their children, that you don't have to work for something if you can just sell out and attain it the easy way.

You are a classless, selfish, arrogant putz who has lost the respect of many fans and many greats that came before you. One thing I will commend you on though, you have almost single-handedly ruined the integrity of the game. If you do end up winning a championship, you will still never be respected as a great player who guided a team to the promised land. Instead you will be known as the player who could have been the greatest ever, but sold out in order to win.

Congratulations, you may become, for all intents and purposes, the greatest player to NEVER earn a ring. Don't miss the keyword there...'earn!'

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:45 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I suspect that any minority who excels in any sport (or whom is famous for any reason) has a larger percentage of fans of their race, creed, or color. That's not racism, and to turn that into racism is a twisted use of statistics. It applies to all, so LaBron's "case" may not be statistically different. Any first year math major would reject the hypothesis that racism has been proved by those numbers.

Personally, I dislike LaBron's decision for the same reason I don't like the New York Yankees. I am bored by dominance in any sport. If LaBron had of chosen to go to the Clippers or the Detroit Pistons (my home team) I would have not lost respect for him. Sure he dissed Cleveland, but everyone knew it was a possibility he'd leave. Did he execute it poorly? Sure. But his rudeness is not as big a deal to me as making the next NBA season anti-climatic.

Even if the backlash was racist, LaBron would have served his own self-image better by dismissing it. The more he blames others, the more selfish he sounds and the faster his image is going down the toilet. He opens his mouth and you can hear FLUSHHHHHH! 

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:45 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

He is just play the race card. When ever people turn against an African American is any sport, the athlete reponces is that people don't like him because he is black, no it's because people thought you made a bad move and betraded your "home state". The best athletes don't blame anything or anyone, they just go out and do their job. No need for lame excuseses.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:45 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I could agree with that. Some whites might be quicker to damn a black athlete. But conversely wouldn't some blacks be more likely to blindly support an athlete, even if they made a asinine "decision" to make spectacle of themselves with the biggest LOOK AT ME moment in the history of sports?

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:43 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

LeBron has had every part of his ass kissed since he was in junior high school. Now he gets a little negative press - due to his own incredibly poor judgement - and plays the race card? This piece of work went on national television, stroked his mammoth ego, murdered his hometown team in front of millions, and had the nerve and lack of common decency to hide behind little kids in a feable attempt to make his stunt feel less foul. Now that it's blown up on him he runs and hides behind the color of his skin. This was never about race until this shi*bag made it about race.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:40 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

But as to why one color of people reacted differently to LeBron's decision than the other, I don't know.

I'd love to know what these "q-score" numbers were before Jesse Jackson got involved and made it about race. I wish there was some way to know the figures the day after that silly ESPN broadcast, but before the Gilbert rant and Jackson's slave declaration.

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:39 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

By the way, mine were for the dweebs that say "this guy shouldn't write this story". Sorry, I just get irked when idiots troll.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:38 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?

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:36 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Grow up.
He got an assignment and did his job. LeBron brought up the race card, and it was news, so someone said, "Royce, write about it," and he did.
Don't troll. Learn how the industry works before you make some dimwitted "fire this guy" reccommendation, and realize that your opinion means nothing compared to the one from the guy that signs his paycheck.

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