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: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:49 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Lol-Love it!  There's a race card for everything.  Now you get the millions of white people who have been paying your bills for so long, to back off or be considered racist.  Brilliant!  What's more racist, to loose respect for someone because you don't like the way they handled a situation, or to accuse someone of being racist because they make an easy target?  Labron's statement is in itself, inherantly racist!  I love... hate this game.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:41 am

are you serious?

Im so sick of black athletes using the "race" card every time something backfires or they are reprimanded in their careers. Shut the **** up! The only race keeping racial tensions alive are black people walking around with a chip on their shoulder like everybody owes them something ( even the multimillionaires like Lebron). Shut your mouth, and take your criticism like a man and quit blaming it on something that doesnt exist! Especially in the NBA where 95% of the players are black. Lebron is a baby.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:41 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Let's put it this way, if you weren't black "King" James, you wouldn't be the ball player you are........It doesn't matter what color you are, you're a pompous ass!

I hope your blow out your knee in camp!  Karma's a bitch.  I was fine with what you did, follow the money, it's the name of the game.  Start with your new team and move on.  The world does not revolve around you.  As soon as you grow up and realize that, you may win a championship or two.  You get what you earn, not what you think you're entitled!

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:31 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Of course the negative response was based on his race.  What else would it be?  It had nothing to do with the fact that you left an entire fan base in waiting and and then humiliating them all while you made a big production out of your choice.  It's more about his ego than anything.

It's always easier to play the race card than admit your own faults.  A big part of why racism won't go away is because people continue to play the race card and make it an issue where it should never have a factor.  Time to move on. 

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:28 am

Of course it did, LeBron...

...Otherwise, how else were you not going to take responsibility for your own self-agrandizement?  By using the race card, you just confirmed everything everyone ever said about you...

Man up, dude...  Oh, sorry...  You have no idea what that means after you tanked it in the playoffs...  Real fans of sports know you're a frontrunner... 

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:22 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash, NOT!

Isn't it funny that an African American writer thinks such racist thoughts.  I say that they are racist because part of being a responsible member of society is taking responsibility for your own actions. No white people decided to humiliate Cleveland on National TV.  Cleveland has many many people of all races that hate LeChoke.
Sir Charles is still African American the last I checked and so Is Michael Jordan.  IS that how you got your job by crying to the publisher that there are too many whites at CBS. Maybe your should less time whining and making up stats and more time taking writing classes.  I refuse to take responsibility for every mistake that another race makes just because the color of my skin.  I live in NYc and I know better to judge people like that.  That's just racist.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 8:12 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

So are those same "rascist" involved with the hatred for Lane Kiffin?

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:53 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

It's sad that a black man so prominently in the spotlight as LeBron James is playing the "race card" in this era of a black president. I understand that racism still exists, but it exists and must be overcome by all groups of people, not just blacks. As yet, we don't have a gay president or a woman president, or hispanic, or asian, etc. People frrom ALL walks of life are subject to descrimination and stereotypes and always have been. Short people and fat people take more heat than anybody and get less promotions too, look it up. LeBron's comments continue to propogate the notion "I'm being held back because I'm ______." Most everyone has something they could use to filll in that blank. Focussing on that rather than focussing on how you can overcome it and be successful is a surefire way to be a failure...white, black, short, tall, whatever.

Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:43 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

It's alright for the Cavs owner to fire the coach with the best regular season record.Noboby cares about that.All I hear from you Cav fans is loyality.When the Cavs owner is not loyal and either are most of you Cav fans.The Cavs didn't sell out games in the past like they did when Lebron was there.I remember watching Cavs games before Lebron got there and the stadium was empty.So talk about loyality.Maybe after the Cavs owner fired the coach, Lebron said to himself this guy is not loyal.Maybe that was the last straw.So don't talk about loyality.I forgot how many  home games the Cavs sold out before Lebron got there.They hardly ever sold out homes games before Lebron got there.Cleveland Cavs owner is not loyal.If he was loyal he would of never fired the coach.Most Cavs fans are not loyal either.The Cavs hardly sold out home games before Lebron got there.It's alright for the Cavs owner and Cav fans not to be loyal,but as SOON as Lebron leaves theCavs he is not loyal.Most players as great as Lebron wouldn't even play for a team like the Cavs.

Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:30 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

i cant't stand you Cleveland fans.Such babies.Lebronis not a quiter.Let me ask you this.It's alright for the Cavs owner to cut players or not resign them,but Lebron can't leave the team.Talking about quitting.Then the Cavs owner quit everytime he cut,fired, or didn't resign a coach or player.7 years on a team that sucked before he got there and will suck now.Lebron brought your team from last to first.Loyality that is fuuny.The Cavs owners fires the coach with the best regular season record.What loyality.Noboby cares about that.Maybe firing the coach showed Lebron what kind of person the Cavs owners is.The Cavs owner showed Lebron he had no loyality after firing the coach.Most players as great as Lebron wouldn't even think about playing for a team like the Cavs.Lebron did for 7 years.

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