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LeBron's Q-Rating, image didn't really take a hit among blacks

Sep 21, 2010, 2:29 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for LeBron_Heat.jpgYou know how America hates LeBron James now after “The Decision?”

That’s not exactly true. We should say white America hates LeBron, because the numbers say black Americans do not.

In a fascinating post at ESPN, Vincent Thomas has the numbers:

According to The Q Scores Co., for non-blacks, LeBron’s positive Q rating went from 18 percent in January to 10 percent in September and, more telling, his negative Q rating went from 24 percent to 44. Nearly half of the non-blacks in this country don’t like the dude. Meanwhile, LeBron’s positive Q rating among blacks went from 52 percent in January to 39 — a noticeable drop — but his negative Q rating barely budged, going from 14 percent to 15. Among African-Americans, says The Q Scores Co. executive vice president Henry Schafer, the shift in opinion was mostly to neutral.

We’ve seen this divide before, the OJ Simpson trial had a lot of it. Thomas uses the term “black protectionism” and explains it this way.

The more America shuns LeBron, the more Black America retreats to his corner. In fact, as America hates LeBron more and more, Black America’s collective hug embraces LeBron tighter and tighter. It’s called black protectionism.

Athletes have always been inspirational figures within the black community and — as far back as Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson — often have taken the public racial hit for the team. So, naturally, through the years, they’ve engendered an almost automatic protectionism response whenever America — whether justifiably or not — decides it wants to hate them. You saw it with Hank Aaron. You saw it with Barry Bonds. You saw it with Allen Iverson. You saw it with Michael Vick. You’re seeing it now with LeBron James.

Thomas makes this comment about how we view athletes, and the perspective of hating LeBron.

And for what? Why? Because “The Decision” was annoying and self-indulgent? I’m sorry, but Brett Favre was nowhere to be found on The Q Scores Co.’s top 10 most disliked list. And, dig this: America dislikes LeBron more than it dislikes Ben Roethlisberger. That’s just not deserved. So, you know what? Enter the ride-or-die black community.

Henry Abbott makes an interesting point at TrueHoop: Maybe what LeBron did was step out of the normal role as player to craft his own destiny, and that upsets the order of things. And with that, upsets some people. It wasn’t just free agency, but the plotting through free agency to manipulate and create a “superteam.” Of course, Pat Riley frankly had a lot to do with that, more than LeBron. But it is LeBron that bears the brunt of the hatred.

Go read the whole posts. I’m not going to pretend to understand all the cultural influences at play here, but the debate is interesting and says a lot about divides that still exist in America.

  1. willhnic - Sep 22, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    You know what’s funny Girlf…most folks who bought houses they couldn’t pay for, or have too many cares in the driveway, or lease a new car every 3 years….mostly white. And most whites had to foreclose their homes. Who are the ones really easy to market to? You should get your MBA and learn more about who really drives consumerism and the economy in America.

  2. MDP - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    If your daddy was a slave , would you feel this way? Dummy

  3. What the? - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Does that really say most whites had to foreclose their homes? So your saying that of the 120 million white home owners in America, most (i.e. over 50%) had to foreclose? are you high? Foreclosure rates were higher than normal for everyone, but still not over 10%. Jesus Christ dude, read a newspaper. P.S. I have an MBA. Shut your mouth.

  4. getittogetherppl - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Black people don’t care about what lebron does as a sport player it was his right to play for whatever team he wanted to after his contract ended and that is what he did. “The Decision” was a bad idea but so what at the end of the day he did what he felt. I don’t think that black people feel like we need to proctect him we just understand that the reason we liked him to begin with is because he was a great basketball player and no matter what team he plays for he will continue to be a great basketball player. This is a sport and black people understand that we can’t worry about what one man is doing for his family, he made his decision months ago we are over it sure some of us may have felt upset but we move on from things quickly because society does not allow us to sit around dewlling on things we can’t change. We are trying to survive as should everyone, watch the man play enjoy the sport and move on. Lebron pays no one bills but his own and last i checked if he was only responsible for his family. However, the fact that so many people on here feel so upset that this article suggested that blacks are proctecting lebron and some of the hate filled comments make it clear that racisim is still very much alive.

  5. Mal - Sep 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    The fact that you say “most blacks” left you looking like a jackass for the start. You haven’t met most blacks (even if you are black) to say such an unqualified statement. Just shut up and take your trifling comments with you. Hell, most people I know can’t stand Lebron because he comes off like a punk. Yeah i’m black and can’t stand his arrogant ass. Great ball player but pretentious diva.

  6. Mal - Sep 22, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I suspect that you are a genuine redneck that fears that blacks are keeping you from getting into college (affirmative action) and getting a promotion. They are much more talented than you and thus excluding you from sports and other aspects of entertainment and. That’s right, African Americans are targeting your Archie Bunker ass, and you can’t take it. You’re probably scared that “your” America doesn’t exist anymore and never will again. Haha, you’re a buffoon. Better still, are you a jaded white girl that black men pass up, starving you of that good “dark meat”? Such a simpleton you are.

  7. ocgunslinger - Sep 22, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Hey guy…..all of us should be scared that “Our” America will not exist anymore and it has nothing to do with Lebron, how much he makes, where he plays and how much of an ass he is or isn’t. Doesn’t matter if you are white, red, black, brown or yellow we are all going through a fundamental change in the way we will live in America to where we will all wish we could go back to the good old days. We are all going to know color is no longer be an issue.

  8. Clevelander - Sep 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    As a native Clevelander, I promise you that you will not see any racial divide in Northeast Ohio regarding the public’s feelings about how LBJ handled the entire situation. I think there are several factors that complicate the different reactions. First, there are biggoted people who pile on to what is otherwise legitmate cricism in an attempt to justify their own prejudice. (Some of those people are apparently posting on this site.) Obviously, racist comments will encourage people to defend LBJ’s conduct even if they are not initially inclined to do so. However, I think the bigger issue is whether you view professional sports as simply a business. If you view sports as simply a business, then you don’t see anything wrong with what LBJ did. If you view sports as more than just a business, then you have a problem with what LBJ did and how he did it.

  9. Asian - Sep 22, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    The brotha’s need to stop using the race cards…Asians were slaves in the mid to late 1800’s. The government had concentration camps for the asians in the 1940s… SO BROTHA PLEASE!!!

  10. Josh - Sep 22, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Ok, ok, you are the number one soul brotha, ok?

  11. Irish - Sep 22, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    England wouldn’t grant us freedom for hundreds of years…. They would rape our women!!!!

  12. Aztec - Sep 22, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Spain Invaded our contry, raped our women, force their religion views down our throats!!!

  13. Cordae - Sep 22, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    I am going to try my hardest to ignore the racist comments I’ve read in here, as a BLACK man.
    But anyway, its true. You all love your own just like we love ours. Ben Rothlesberger gets charged with not raping one, but TWO different girls on TWO seperate occasions, did his image take a hit? Hell no, you all (yes you all, look at the his camp video, nothing but white faces) welcomed him with open arms. Brett Farve has a whole damn franchise sitting onthe edge of their seats for, not one, but TWO summers back to back. He came back and took the starting QB job with no debate, despite the fact that two other guys busted their ass ALL summer for that spot. But why isnt he considered self-centered and immature? Hmm, I’m black, and im a LeBron fan, but I strongly disagree with “The Decision” show, not the decision itself. But what he did isnt half as bad as what these white guys did. I’m not racist, I’m just saying..

  14. D-Nice - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    And If your Mother would of knew that her son would grow up to be a racist punk she would of aborted your dumba** Glenn Beck stay off this blog.

  15. Mela - Sep 25, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Everyone will deny it because it affects their sensibilities (well,most fair skinned americans anyway), but the truth is that Lebron or anyone else would get harsher criticism for his actions than a Brett Favre or a Ben Roethlesberger.
    Compare the Tiger public reaction to Roehlesberger…lol its ridiculous. Roeth was potentially facing a CRIME (twice) and ESPN refused to cover it at first. Yet Tiger stepped out on his wife, and every day there was constant media speculation if he should be ‘forgiven’ by the public.
    While I do agree that “Black protectionism” exists, there is such a thing as the Psychogenesis of COlor based racism. A fascinating article has been written on it.
    The darker your skin is, especially in view of our post Colonial, westernized ideals becoming the norm, the more negative you can seem And that applies to all people, Black, White and everyhting in between.
    The only difference is, it obv. doesn’t extend as far in the minds of African Americans, because they themselves see the other side of the coin. I understand this will seem like gibberish to you, since you just don’t WANT to acknowledge it.

  16. JodaleLeander - Sep 26, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    I’m black and bruh I agree with u LMAO u snapped but yea LeBron human and this basketball we have to get over it if you don’t live in Cleveland or Akron don’t take it so hard!!! LeBron James still my dude but i’m from Chicago so i’m rooting against them everytime they play us but any other teams do your thing Heat but we got some wind for that Heat in the Windy City!!!

  17. phil - Sep 27, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    dont tell anyone, but those of african descent, are americans also, so be up front , and say white americans dont like Lebron, versus the popularity in the black community,if he does not want to play in cleveland, so what, let a NBA player, have a major injury, and then see how much they want them.

  18. phil - Sep 27, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    dont tell anyone, but those of african descent, are americans also, so be up front , and say white americans dont like Lebron, versus the popularity in the black community,if he does not want to play in cleveland, so what, let a NBA player, have a major injury, and then see how much they want them.

  19. glen graham - Sep 28, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    you are an idiot

  20. Victor Omo Agege - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    To the guy who posted…. think if slavery still existed the economy wouldn’t be so bad…. I’m just saying…
    Sure you can be the slave

  21. blind owl - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Slavery?? To bad it isn’t still around! Not bad by todays standards,,, get fed, given shelter, material to make clothes,, and then given a few bucks at the end of the month. Today??? 7 bucks an hour, get your own shelter, your own food, your own clothing and your own health care.

  22. browns001 - Sep 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Response to BLOG.
    Because it is. Point Blank.

  23. browns001 - Sep 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Response to BLOG.
    Because it is. Point Blank.

  24. browns001 - Sep 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    All this hate, because of a basketball player. All you people are disgusting and shameful.

  25. art - Sep 30, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    lebron is OK,he may have gotten some bad advice. Anybody that follows anything to do with sports that is not on the playing field is flat out nuts. It is catnip for morons. Anything bad about NBA players would be anti black-i think they score 96% of all total points last season in the league.

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