Blog Entry

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 3:39 pm
LeBron James calls a reporter's question "retarded" which is not cool. Not cool at all. Or suprising. 
Posted by Matt Moore

LeBron James isn't a moron. He's just incredibly, unbelievably immature. It comes off in how he carries himself, from throwing away his warm-ups to "The Decision" to his rampant flubs in the media. I say this not as one of the scribes who has habitually and constantly crushed James for his ego, but as a writer who doesn't think wanting to change job locations or positions is a terrible thing, even if you do it in an impolite way, and who has defended James' game from attacks on his basketball character. It's just pretty evident that James is immature. It's not always a bad or avoidable thing to be immature. Few people in their early 20's really are, and James' natrual progression in that area was surely stunted by his god-like treatment he received from high school on, and from entering the NBA right out of high school. But James is old enough now to know better. And he doesn't.  And we have yet another example. 

In response to a reporter's question to Dwyane Wade regarding whether the play that injured Rajon Rondo was "dirty," James covered his mouth and uttered "That's retarded" under his breath. You know, because that won't get picked up because he covered his mouth despite the giant microphone in front of his mouth. 

So here we are again, back where we were with the Kobe Bryant slur situation. As Larry Brown Sports discusses, there are a number of ways this is different from that situation. But we're going to have the same dynamics going on. Those who defend James religiously will point to the hyper-sensitive nature of society, those who always seek to criticize LeBron will use this as yet another prime opportunity to, and everyone else will filter somewhere along the "outrage vs. outrage over the outrage" line. And nothing will really change, which is the sad part. 

Last week, in trying to describe something to my wife that was idiotic, my mind blanked. I actually said "it's... it's retarded." It was only my wife and I in the room, but I felt the need to apologize and correct myself. I'm not sharing this as an example of moral superiority, but instead of how it can happen to anyone.,It's got to be hard to always say the right thing when you're surrounded by microphones. But this wasn't a mistake, it was a deliberate comment.

"What's the big deal?!" critics of modern society will cry! "It's not like he called someone a slur like Kobe!" Let's start by recognizing that these are two separate incidents, unrelated to one another, and there's room for us to look at both through the lens of their impact on society. The use of such a term only propogates a cultural and societal feeling of disgust and derision for those physically or mentally handicapped. The actual clinical definition describes a lowered intelligence quotient, but the term isn't used in that manner with any discretion or consideration. I'm far from an expert on physical and mental disability, but it's pretty plain that anything which would casually deride victims of such a condition is unacceptable. Sticks and stones and what not, but James' comment still sets an example This isn't a high bar, here, people. 

Is it fair that James' comment should be singled out? No, and that's on us to try and provide a world where our language says what it means, and cuts who it should and them only.  But James said it on national television after he yet again showed that the Celtics can make him irrelevant, and this criticism is the price of the millions of dollars, the "global empire" and the adulation of millions. Your words do matter, LeBron. You may want to take stock and realize that. 

You know, once you grow up.  

Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:40 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Retarded is still a word, get over it. It's not a slur, or a "bad" word. For God's sake the DSM-IV still uses the word retarded to classify people with very low IQ's...  Is it the best word to say no, but give the guy a break,,,

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:40 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Is it insensative? Absolutely. Is it childish? Of course it is. Is it wrong? NO. Look I am not mentally handicapped, (please don't ask my wife for confirmation), but I know those who are and understand how their families have labored for acceptance and understanding for those who might be less fortunate. There should be no stigma to being mentally challenged, gay, mentally unbalanced, of a different skin color, different religion, or anything else. Unfortunately though for various small minded individuals there is now and always will be. Have we gone so far into the PC world that we have forgotten one of the founding principles of this great nation? FREE SPEECH people, your right to not be offended does excede someones elses right to be offensive. Ignore them, pity them if you must but make no attempt to control them. There is now no law nor should there be against being a loudmouth opinionated bigoted jerk. My personal view is that anyone who models their behavior and thoughts on someone simply because the excel at a game is someone in need a serious help. Athletes and other public figures should only be role models for the activity in which they excel and have become famous for. Honor the athlete who "plays the right way, works hard and follows the rules" within the white lines and pay no attention to their thoughts and behavior outside them. Just not let ye be judged. Focus on being the the best person you can be and not how someone else is failing to be their best.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:40 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

I will admit that this isn't that newsworthy. However, it is awful to use that word. I know several people who have relatives that suffer from mental retardation and would be quite offended by that. I think Lebron is immature and should learn to carry himself better.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:36 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Give me a break with the "sensitivity" stuff already. The only thing good about this is that minorities get the PC tables turned on them and see what it's like to be the target of a PC witch hunt.

Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:34 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

I check the scores each night looking for 2 things. One, that the Heat lose. Two, that the Lakers lose. Nothing else matters. F Miami and F L.A.

Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:29 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

I agree with that hooter, this isn't even news worthy.  If the reporter asked a stupid question then the response was justified.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:25 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

aren't most sportswriters retarded? If they were intelligent they wouldn't be writing about sports and  sniffing players jocks looking for meaningless stories.   

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:21 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Oh GOD!!!...who says its offensive?  This retarded (woops) stupid political correctness is so out of control. Who cares is some woman in Amherst who doesnt shave her armpits is offended. Say what the hell you want! 

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:57 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Yikes...racist much? Scumbag.

Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:31 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Know more than what is expect from a person that still uses the  N word 

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