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 30, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:51 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Statistics can be viewed in many ways....I can say yes race had something to so much as black people refuse to hold other black people to task for their actions. You can see it in black politics when African Americans will vote for a candidate vs white one even when they have had criminal charges. So there is your statistic right there...blacks have less standards.

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:50 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Great points!

Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:49 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Dear LaYawn,

You are a pathetic, spineless, narsacist who doesn't have the courage of his own convictions.  You are a pathetic example of a man who his emotionally and maturally dwarfed while being a physically gifted athlete.  Shut your hole and I hope your knee blows out.  Then with your athelticism taken out of the picture, all you will have left is a pity party throwing race baiting child.  POOR YOU...BOO HOO HOO..

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:48 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Also was LeBron gonna be white if he decided to stay in Clevland or if he just moved on the right way?

Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:48 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Ah crap...Really Lebron?

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:46 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

    Only on CNN whould that even be a question. People may not like him because he is black(hatred for other races is out there) but people dont hate his decision because it was weak and thoughtless. People want leadership from stars not for them to be followers. What is to like about a grown man breaking the hearts of people who cared and supported him.

     As for CNN! CNN just brings this up for thier own political profit. If you don't agree your a racsist. Hmmm, where have we heard that before. CBS is no better and thats why this writer has jumped aboard.

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:36 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

One of the most absurd claims of racial motivation I've ever seen.  Have people been extremely critical in the media and in the world at large of the whole yearly Brett Favre decision?  If you act like a prima dona and draw all this negative attention to yourself you can expect the result.  It was going to hurt fans in Cleveland to see LeBron go even if he were upfront and honest and respectful of the fans, but he could have not just stone walled them.  He could have thanked the fans and acted apologetic from leaving his hometown behind.  Instead he spit in their face.  When you embarrass a proud city you can expect things to get ugly after.  LeBron is a fool.  He will go down as one of the great sports cowards even if he does win multiple titles.  Yes, sometimes a Charles Barkley or a Karl Malone change teams at the end of their career to chase a title and try to silence some of the constant criticism of being a Hall of Famer with no ring, but who in the prime of their career does that?  People say all the time, "well Jordan had Pippen" and "Magic had James Worthy and Kareem".  Yes they did, but the Lakers drafted Magic and Worthy and the Bulls traded for Scottie Pippen before he played a single NBA game.  Those players built championships together from scratch not in collusive free agent moves.  LeBron James didn't have the patience to develop a championship chemistry while being in the unique opportunity to bring a championship to his own hometown of Akron on the nearby people of Cleveland, one the most title plagued locations in all of sports.  Even one title in Cleveland would bring LeBron unthinkable praise.  Now even one title in Miami will bring him unthinkable controversy.  The people of Miami would rejoice and the rest of fan nation will have a bitter taste from the taint of collusion and cowardice.

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:28 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I used to love all black people - too much really.  Since "The Decision" it just hasn't been the same.  I think they've been cheating on me with another racial demographic.  Have they said anything to you about it?  Don't tell them I was asking, mm'kay?

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:23 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I think I hate Rick Pitino because he's white (racism isn't supposed to make sense, so don't ask me to justify it).  I think Lebron should too, only because it seems that he doesn't know that Pitino is white.  Wait 'til Lebron finds out.

Race was a factor if Lebron decided to become black as part of "The Decision".  I don't remember much about Lebron before this Pearl Harbouring of the Cleveland Cavaliers - was he always black?  Tiger Woods' negative Q score tripled after his televised apology.  Is that because he's bla asia whi whatever he is?  Let's ignore for a second whether Q Scores mean anything or what they do mean.  From my review of , their system doesn't seem to be able to quantify racism.

Why can't we go back to the days when only white folk played hoops? - we called it honky-oops back then...  We appreciated the fundamentals of the game, the stirring 6-4 final scores... it was magnificent.  The only "Decision" that we had to make back then was solid or plaid.  Nice.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:22 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

"LeBron's adviser and marketing guru Maverick Carter..."
Are you kidding me? Economists estimated that LeBron cost his brand about $1 BILLION. Yes, BILLION. How does that qualify Maverick Carter as a "marketing guru"? I wonder if he was also responsible for GM's marketing before they filed for bankruptcy. Get real. I wouldn't listen to Carter's advice if HE paid ME.

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