I am not a racist by any means, but playing the race card in a league where 76% of its athletes are African-American is just uncalled for. As most of sports world knows by now, LeBron dealt that card when asked about the repercussions of his free agency antics. So as I sit here in my African-American History class, I ponder why in the hell LeBron would blame racism for his stupid actions. The following is an excerpt from the CNN interview held a couple days ago:
O'BRIEN (voice-over): According to industry insiders, James and Carter have done just fine, striking multi-million dollar deals with State Farm, Nike and McDonalds. But those deals were overshadowed by this summer's decision and negative headlines which seemed to tarnish LeBron James, the athlete, and the brand.
CARTER: 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.
O'BRIEN (on camera): Do you think there's a role that race plays in this.
JAMES: I think so at times. It's always, you know, a race factor.
CARTER: It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure
At first I could not believe what I had just heard, but after reading this transcript I was just livid. There's no need to take a dive into these types of issues when you are on the verge of becoming the world's second ever athlete-billionaire. I'm sure if a good white player like Jason Kidd (in his prime, of course) were create to this type of uproar when he would test the free agent waters the same backlash might have resulted in his team's respected cities, and around the league would be considered disrespectful, arrogant, or dishonest. As I started out I stated that 76% of the NBA's athletes are African-American while whites make up 20%, Latinos 3%, and Asian the last 1%. The NBA is widely credited for being the most diversified league of the four major American sports.
To honor the title of my article I am now going to play my logic card versus LeBron's Race card. He seems to think that race is always a factor when it comes to decisions like these, yet there are multiple reasons that LeBron should have thought twice about his comments. Here is what I would say to Lebron in response to his antics.
1. You are arguably the most physically imposing player in a league dominated by African-American athletes. Your sport has a greater percentage of black fans compared to white fans. Your talents serve as inspiration to young black teenagers hoping to make it in basketball some day.
2. If this was all some stunt to gain more leverage, power, and money, you don't need to do anymore than you are doing now. You're already on the verge of becoming the world's second billionaire-athlete. Don't abuse your star power, or you will be the #1 most hated athlete quickly. I would recommend seeking out advice from someone who has put himself in a similar predicament as far as legacy goes. Mr. Tiger Woods
3. Your team is probably going to the NBA finals anyways regardless of chemistry, so quit creating off the court distractions that may hinder your title hopes.
4. Shut up and play. I know Jalen Rose defends your comments, but he too thinks you should be more focused on the most important part of the game, winning.
5. Lay low for awhile. You are dangerously close to becoming a pariah throughout the whole league, not just in Cleveland.
6. You won't ever do what Kobe did. Although Kobe is still among the most hated athletes, he has at least earned my respect after his rape accusation and Shaq feud to win titles as the man.
7. You seem to be on a fast track to become like Mike. Only problem is, it'll be more like Mike Tyson.
Right now it's damn near impossible for James to reverse what he has done to tarnish his image, legacy, and "brand." There is no race factor involved at all. In my opinion, basketball is the only sport of the four major American sports where the race card should not be allowed to be used. Football, Baseball, and Hockey all have their stereotypes about black athletes. Quarterbacks who can run like Vick, ballplayers who steal 100 bases, or hockey players who always get in fights. Basketball seems to have the fewest actual problems regarding race, yet it seems the players create too many unnecessary controversies by blaming race.