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 29, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:34 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

when is this overpampered ,overrated,egomanicial idiot going to realize leaving cleveland for miami and a better team isn't waht people are disliking?it is the way he did it and furthermore the way he is now "not getting it"..he can hide behind any excuse he wants..just he has an excuse for why he never could be a winner in cleveland ..why he has an excuse for why he is this or that etc ..fact is he acts like a spoiled pompous moron and thats why people do not like him..he was sheltered in cleveland and now people can see his real self in 3rd person,his brand ,blah blah blah ..fact is if he wins 10 rings in miami noone is going to care caue he will be seen for what he is a loser!!!!!!

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:33 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Syntax, man. The point is understandable, and that's the idea in journalism. He used the same language the study did, which is exactly what he should have done.
He didn't want to speculate on "why" because Royce is white, and if he did, he'd have left the door open for a whole lot more troll bums like yourself to spew their garbage. You yourself said the world is ethnocentric, so you should understand.
Take it easy, he got an assignment, and he did his job. If you could do better, maybe you'd get paid for it, but you don't, so just respond to the idea, not the writing. I bet the guy who signs his paycheck has a much more important opinion than yours.   

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:28 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

The only people who are racist are the ones who bring it up.

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:26 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

You know what Lebron, you just did your entire race a disservice. Ignorant. I am biting my tongue to not call him a word which he is begging to be called. Ignorance and fame/money are a dangerous combination. Three words of advice, Get Over Yourself.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:24 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Look, statistics can be manipulated to say anything you want, which in this case, they were manipulated by this so called journalist and Soledad Obrien to be viewed as a racial bias.  The fact is, very few athletes have been tied to a franchise, city and state like Lebron was with Cleveland.  Albeit Cleveland is a hole and I can't understand why people live there, they do have a lot of pride in doing so.  The decision to leave was probably the right thing for Lebron but its in the way that he did it that was oh so wrong.  No City, fan or franchise deserves to be called out on national TV and then have it rubbed in their face that he wasn't staying.   It was bad enough that this city had to endure the Browns packing up and leaving in the middle of the night, now they get the carpet ripped from under them again only on a national spotlight.  This guy is ridiculous to think its only about him.  The backlash was caused by his actions leading up to the decision and post decision not the decision itself.  Be accountable for your actions Lebron and stop trying to place blame elsewhere.  You have an idiot for an advisor so we should expect idiot moves but don't point the finger at everyone else for the backlash, remember there are  4 other fingers pointing back at you.  The good thing for Lebron is that fans have short memories, everyone hated Elway when he pulled his spoiled kid act and by the end of his career, he was the NFL's Darling.  The same will go for Lebron if he starts collecting rings.  However, the joke of it all is, guys like Elway, Kobe, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, guys that act like royalty (King James), they all backed it up on the field/court of play.  You quit on the court in the playoffs.  The athletes i mentioned prior, quitting isn't in their DNA.  You quit on your team, you quit on your fans, your coach, the franchise, the city.  You are just one big quitter and its a bad habit to break.  So when it doesn't go your way in Miami, you'll quit there too is my guess.  At least you have your millions.  Quitter.  I was glad the Knicks didn't get you. :)

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:23 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Lebron makes more money in a year than 10 generations of my family will, put together. Stop whining and get over yourself you overentitled, pampered  egotist. Lebron and Albert Haynesworth should go on a tour of the country entitled "Even though we're making 100's of missions of dollars, the Man is keeping us down. A final word of advice to lebron and his posse of marketing people and agents, who apparently aren't too smart either: better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you're dumb, than to open it up and say things which confirm your stupidity.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:23 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

There probably is a racial component to his popularity after ditching Cleveland.  But, looking at the "stats" it seems to me that the blacks are staying with James BECAUSE he is black....that's racial.Tongue out

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:19 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I think race definately played a part. How could only 1% more black people hate this guy after the way he disrespects the fans of the NBA?

It proves that black people like other black people... no matter what arrogant pieces of crap they are. Racism lives on.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:13 pm

OF COURSE race played a factor in these stats

Yes, race played a factor... black people have LeBron's back.  That is how it played a factor.  It is not because white people are being racist against him.  I guarantee you that among other races, LeBron's popularity also dropped.  I am not criticizing the black community for looking out LeBron, that's fine, and even admirable.  I don't know what it's like to be black, but I know there is still racism out there so I understand why they look out more for each other more than a white person would for another white person.
But none of that changes the fact that the loss in popularity was due to LeBron leading on his hometown fans for months before humiliating their city in an unprecedented act of self promotion.  Had everything happened the exact same way but LeBron was white, you'd see an across the board popularity drop.

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:13 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Im am so sick of media in this country and people in this country using race...Its a spineless way to debate things usually held onto by the marxists in our govt who cant debate issues so have to resort to name calling...With this I dont think its as much the fact that the non blacks are racist as much as the black people tend to stick with other black people, no matter what they do or say. Look at Obama...This guys is a complete failure but I do get the excitement among black people b/c he is the first black president...Among blacks his approval is still upwards of 70-80 %. Obama is ruinig this country and its very easy top see that, but like I said black people, for the majority at least, will still stick by their man, most likely b/c he is the same color. I get that- for black people, that is, given the history in this country. Note- I said the history, not the present. But of course in present day america. the spin is always against the white man...You know the typcial template that all whites are racist and everytime a white person disagrees with a black person, of course they are racist. Its old and outdated and normal educated people realize this is just a ploy tp shut the people up they disagree with...And btw, if any moron replies to this saying its racist, do two things: 1- Go jump off a cliff b/c you arent smart enough to be alive and 2- define the word "racist"...most people who use the word racist, don't even know the real definition of the word...

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or