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: May 17, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 12:01 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Another inappropriate use of the "race card" -- come on Lebron, how many white people bought tickets to see you play, bought your jersey, your shoes, etc etc, but because people don't like the way you handled yourself in free agency is just the "white man" being racist?  Please.  What the article, by the way, does not mention is that while Lebron "negative" perception score only fell by 1% among blacks, his "positive" perception score among blacks did fall by a much larger amount (sorry, I don't remember the exact figure), so its not just "non-blacks" (thanks for lumping us all together by the way, because the race card gets played only against the whites but the group included all non-whites other than "black" as well) that had a negative view of how "The Decision" was handled.

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:52 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

How about this then. Im black and I still dont like LeBron James. Hes a whore that took the easy way out.

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:49 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

CaBron James and his pimp Maverick Carter are both uneducated tool for telling that race played a part in his sudden popularity decline. Evidently James is not clearly thinking that ditching the Cavaliers in a one hour live national TV will not affect his popularity. I think not. Also, the $3 million dollar charity raised by “The Decision” is just a PR move to soften up the backlash. Hell, he can raise more money just partying with his dogs.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:47 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This country is a joke

Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:45 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Yes Lebron, everyone hates you because your black. That's the reason i don't like you, because your black.  Stop begging for attention.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:34 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

So is the fact that the Cleveland fans loved Lebum before he made the stupidest PR move ever also based on race?  LBJ needs to learn that people dislike him because he is a quitter and now has proven to have no loyalty to a region that cared for him and supported him all of his life.  Doesn't matter if he was white, black, brown, yellow or purple.  The guy is a tool who cares about nothing other than himself and his mom and dad (aka Delonte West.)

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:32 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

How does that statistic mean anything about race?  Just because more white people thought it was bad decision?  If it was about race then those people wouldn't have liked you in the first place. 

Race had zero to do with that situation.  It wouldn't matter if it was a white, asian, latino, indian or whatever race you want to throw in there, the backlash for that situation would have been the same.

If you agree that it was a race thing then let me ask you why those people liked him in the first place?  He has been an african american the whole time.  That didn't change.  What did change was the perception of how great of a guy he was in public opinion.

I'm not saying he was wrong for what he did because I don't blame him at all.  But to say that the backlash was about race is naive and ignorant to say the least.

And if that statistic was skewed towards a larger percentage of whites not liking him anymore, maybe that has to do with the fact that the state he spurned for South Beach is about %80 white.

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:03 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

They say that 95.654% of all stats are made up on the spot.  I wonder if the stats mentioned above were.

Maybe it is about race, maybe not...honestly who care.
Just play basketball

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