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: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:29 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

wow Lebron...I'm an even bigger fan now...

Since: May 28, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:24 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

News flash you f' in moron.  People don't like you because you acted like an a* hole.  Let people who actually get discriminated against claim racism.

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:14 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

His Q rating just went down some more after opening his mouth.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:56 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Hey bleed blue. I don't think i'm the reason the race card exist but i know jerry jones is the reason the cowboys underachieve every year. You may not like brett favre but there is no doubt if Mcnabb, moss, or any big time athlete pulled the same tactic they would be lit up for it. Call lebron whatever you want he's about to do what the cowboys and the mavs haven't been able to in a long time and in the mavs case never and thats win a championship.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:52 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

I agree..who cares. I am a minority and I'm even sick and tired hearing about race. It's interesting to me that most of the complaining comes from black people who immediately pull the race card. Stop it, LeBron! You give yourself way too much credit and will never be Michael Jordan. There is no racism here as I respect the hell out of Michael Jordan that earned his accolades on the court and with rings. I dont recall MJ playing the race card because he EARNED his respect as a competitor and a winner. But are a MORON to hint at race for your decline in popularity. I might even like you less if you were a combination of the Heat's colors (White, Black, Red, Orange?)....get over yourself and the DECISION

Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:42 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

LeBron might not have asked for the sports media to build up so much hype around his announcement; but he went along with it, and even basked in it.  Perhaps more blacks were willing to ignore his appalling lack of class because they identify with him racially?  Who knows why any particular people lost respect for him or didn't?  The statistics act like a big inkblot here -- the patterns one sees in them are usually patterns one's own mind has imposed on them.

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:41 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

The mans crazy! We here in Cleveland are upset with the fact he didn't deliver on the promise he made to the Cavs, a championship. That aside, I am not all that upset he left, I'm upset with the way he left. With his "Desision", he put it off so long it didn't give the Cavs the oppurtunity to make an offer to some of the other great players out there that were available. Race my ass, his popularity bombed because of the way he has presented himself...thats the bottom line.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:21 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Let's see. An ALL BLACK sport, with an ALL WHITE audience. And he throws out the race card. If it weren't for thw white fans, there would be no fans at all. Also see the NFL, the NBA's identicle twin.

Since: Sep 29, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:15 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

This is sickening.  David Stern should talk to this character again. Remember when he blew off the media the year before last when Orlando demolished the Cavs.  He hid like a baby.  He didn't even shake hands with the Magic either.  He played so bad in 2 of those games against the Celts last season that I'm trying to figure out if Maverick Carter had a big bet on the Celtics for those games or if Lebron simply had a mental breakdown.  Dan Gilbert was correct- lebron it seemed didn't even try.  I have never seen anything like it.  There should be an investigation by the NBA and they should look into suspending him.  Fans who attended those games should ask for a refund. And then hopefully he'll just go to Europe and play.  We shouldn't have to deal with his falsehoods and evil.  Lebron just keeps making things harder for himself

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:14 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

  I wonder if the surveys were done in Ohio and Miami?  Oddly enough the blacks like the move and the whites don't!  All I have to say is that Jordan said it was a cowardly move in so many words.  Even when the Bulls were still losing it would have been disappointing to see him in a Lakers uniform.  Maybe Barkley would have went to the Lakers as well, and why not Clyde Drexler while we are at it.  And why exactly are they in their uniforms all the time on sportscenter; that's just weird.
  We can only pray they are terrible this year.  Although an unlikely scenario; it is at the same time possible for a few different reasons:
                     1> One of the three gets hurt.
                     2>Lack of a true point guard handling the ball all the time. ie Previous Cavalier teams
                     3>Their personalities clash after a few losses,watch out for big egos. 

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