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: Jul 10, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:22 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

lebron was right that race was an issue, but then again race is an issue in anything now a days.he never said it was the main reason for the hate he was getting, but just said it was a reason.Lebron did not handle the free agency in the best way, but for every fan, especially in cleveland, to think he owed anybody anything is obsurd.In today's world athletes are judged on how many championships you win not by how your overall numbers of your career are.As far as the race card being played one example that backs it up is the Ben Roethlisberger situation.Big Ben does and gets himself into a possible rape scandal and gets suspended for 6 games at the time.Yet more fans hate Lebron for leaving Cleveland and making a team made up of a trio of superstars.Ask yourself what is worse rape or joining a new team?Lebron did nothing to get suspended and yet he is treated like he did.You could even go to the Tiger Woods and his failed marriage to see that tons of people just like to kick the top stars when they are down.Some people enjoy see the best and most talented players fall from grace

Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:22 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I am sick of these cleveland fans.Such babies they are.This is America.In America you have the freedom to leave one team and go to another.Talking about true colors.Look at the Cavs Owner.He showed his true colors after talking all that crap'It's a business.What about the players the Cav Owner cut or didn't resign their contracts.Its alright for him to cut players or not resign them,but noboby can leave his team.As for James Leaving Cleveland.Most top players wouldn't even play for the Cavs.James did.Most players who are as great as Lebron wouldn't even think about playing for a team like the Cavs.They where a small market team before Lebron got there.No great player wanted to play for the Cavs.Lebron did.Plus the Cavs owner didn't surround him with the right players to win a championship.I dont care what you Cav fans say about The owner only got the players Lebron wanted.Lebron is not a coach or Owmer.Even when Lebron played on Cleveland no great players wanted to play for Cleveland with Lebron there.Thats because people know its a small market team with a crappy owner.Lebron made your city alot of money and helped the Cavs get back on the map.Like i said most players as great as Lebron wouldn't of played for a team like the Cavs.Talking about loyality where were all you Cavs fans before Lebron got there and started winning.I remember watching Cavs games before Lebron got there and noboby was in the stands watching the game.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:00 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I think if he had done the decision to Miami as a Heat player instead of the other way around, the statistics might possibly have shown his drop in popularity across a more diverse community and population nationally ? Wade faces no backlash because he stayed with the Heat. But if Bosh & Wade had chosen to sign in Cleveland. We might be hearing that a more culturally diverse community with a racial bias against white America ? I know living in Miami, there is a racial tension that exists like no other I've observed as a phenomena. And what about Canada, Bosh did what he did to Toronto too.

The other thing, this racial bias might very well indicate what Cavaliers ownership faced while trying to build something in Cleveland ? Neither Bosh nor Wade wanted to be Cavaliers ? Why ? Maybe a racial perception of Cleveland & or Ohio as predominantly white ?

Since: Jul 1, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:56 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

LeBron represents everything that is wrong with the NBA.  He is becoming another NBA multi-million dollar "thug."  He is young, dumb, and full of himself.  He has surrounded himself with trash and believes what he is being told.  Just like Ron White once said, "You can't fix stupid."  Which proves my point, the NBA stands for: No Brains Allowed.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:48 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Take it How you want to But Its not like It couldnt be true For Many people who were talking bad about Lebron. To think its impossible for race to be apart of the backlash is plain dumb.

Exactly - Racism is still alive in the United States. Whenever you are dealing with the country as a whole, racism is going to play a factor. He never said that racism is why everyone is reacting the way they are - nor did he say most people. He said race played a factor. It may be 1% - it may be 5% - but there are some out there reacting so negatively because Lebron is black. I know some you will be suprised that there are still racists out there.

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:37 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Maybe it does say something about race that no one is considering.  Maybe black people will stick with the black man no matter what maybe they are the racists.  I am a white male and if I supported someone bc they are white then I am a racist right?  Look at the support for Obama between groups.  Shows the same data.

Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:35 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I'm white and I think Lebron is a self absorbed jerk.

I also think Roger Clemens was cut from the same cloth.  So I guess, by your flawed logic, I hate white people too.

Race will always be a factor if people give it a thought.  If you ignore it, it will inevitably go away.

But you media people wouldn't WANT that.  Because words like "RACE" sell.  And you guys aren't in the business to report, you're in the business to incite.  When you incite, people flock from both sides.  You don't care what side wins, just that both sides bring ALOT of people.  ALOT of people who read your advertisements.  It's not about race  or right and wrong.  It's about cold hard cash. 

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 5:48 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Its always gotta be the race card.  When nothing is left, throw the card.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 5:39 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Lebron James's lack of higher learning is showing. He embarrasses himself nearly every time he takes the microphone. That's a shame.

Since: Nov 3, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 4:24 am

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I think what you mean is, "Everyone hates you because YOU'RE black. That's the reason I don't like you, because YOU'RE black." You call yourself an American citizen? And you don't even know when to use the correct form of the word "you're?" You're, for your information, is a contraction for the words "you are" and "your" is a possessive for the word "you." I hate the fact that you are allowed to write on public forums for me to see. I think you should go home.

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