Some of those criticisms have some slight validity to them, while the vast majority have been based more on hypocrisy, idiocy, and sheer ignorant hatred and racism than reasoned, logical thinking.
Even LeBron and his agents acknowledge the reason for the valid criticisms.
Maverick Carter, James’ good friend, and the man who heads his marketing operations, has said, “The execution could have been a little better, and I take some of the blame for that.”
When it comes right down to it, though, there was nothing truly wrong in what LeBron James did. He was a free agent, had no legal or ethical obligation to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and had every right in the world to use the media in the way he did to announce his “Decision.”
Sports, whether we want to admit it or not, is entertainment, and factored into that fact is the reality that entertainment involves ‘drama.’
Sure, LeBron could have quietly told the Cavaliers he wasn’t going to return, and then just as quietly signed with the Miami Heat, without all the fanfare and drama the one-hour “Decision” show entailed.
Yet, why should he be obligated to do that? Because some people might think it wasn’t tasteful or tactful? Sorry, but holding him to that standard is ludicrous, and frankly, the backlash he’s suffered over it is, in my view, based more on hypocrisy and racism than anything else.
I can guarantee you that if Larry Bird had done something similar in his career, he wouldn’t have faced one-tenth the criticism, and that brings me to the point of this piece.
It’s already been talked about in other articles, but I want to reiterate it here. The overwhelming reason LeBron James is being lambasted by most people is simply this, he’s black.
Well, ponder this then. In January, before he made his decision, he had a positive Q Rating (the industry standard for measuring an athlete’s familiarity and popularity conducted by The Q Scores Company) of 24 percent, and a negative rating of 22 percent.
According to Henry Schafer, the executive vice-president of the company, the average sports figure has a 15 percent positive score and a 24 percent negative score.
As he put it, “LeBron’s positive score at that time was the highest we had ever seen it.”
Since his decision, his positive Q Rating in September was 14 percent, and his negative rating has jumped to 39 percent. That is a significant difference in both quotients, and LeBron is now considered the sixth most disliked sports figure in America behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and Kobe Bryant.
However, let’s take an even closer look at that data from The Q Scores Company.
Among non-black sports fans, LeBron’s positive Q Rating went from 18 percent in January, to 10 percent in September, while his negative rating among those same fans jumped from 24 percent to 44 percent.
Among blacks, however, we see a very significant difference. While James’ positive Q Rating among African-Americans did take a large dip, from 52 percent in January to 39 percent last month, his negative rating barely moved a tick among this fanbase, going from 14 percent to 15 percent.
So, those first numbers showing LeBron being ‘hated’ far more than he used to be? Those are among whites. Can you say RACISM?
I’m sorry, but that’s the only conclusion I can come to seeing those numbers, and that’s supremely sad.
Margaret Atwood once wrote:
“I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it.”
I believe every single person who is criticizing LeBron James, and moreover, those who have begun to “hate” the man, need to do some real soul-searching, and face up to the fact their hate is likely based in racism, whether subtle or overt.
They need to take a good hard look in the mirror and face the fact they’re probably the only one of the two between themselves and LeBron who truly deserves such hatred aimed at them. For ignorant, pathetic, racism and bigotry is an evil that has no real justification, and should be detested by all right-thinking people.
LeBron James may not be perfect, but he’s a pretty good guy from what I can see, despite the fact he’s got a big ego.
His big ego is greatly mitigated by the fact he’s arguably the greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers next to Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, and could even be (and has been), said to be more talented than those two.
I don’t personally believe that, but he is phenomenally talented, and rightfully deserves to be a little egotistical about it.
If you hate him for that, you’re rather pathetic. If you hate him because of the color of his skin, you’re not just pathetic, you’re detestable. Get a life and stop drinking the Haterade.