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LeBron James says race played role in backlash to his decision

Sep 29, 2010, 10:36 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for lebron_decision.jpgDid race play a role in the backlash — both in the media and in the general public — to LeBron James’ decision to take his talents to South Beach?

LeBron James and his business partner and close friend Maverick Carter both said yes in an interview on CNN Wednesday night (hat tip to Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal, and we should note race was a very small part of this interview, discussed and everyone moved on).

“I think so at times. It’s always a race factor,” LeBron said as part of a segment that focused largely on Carter.

“It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written,” Carter said.

A lot of the backlash seemed to be focused less on the choice itself — outside of Cleveland, anyway — and more on what came off as an egotistical way to do it. But both Carter and James said that “The Decision” — the hour-long show on ESPN announcing his move to Miami — may have had something to do with that.

“The execution could’ve been a little better and I take some of blame for that,” Carter said.

But James noted that the event raised $3 million for the Boys & Girls Club and any “heat” he took was worth it.

There certainly has been a lot of LeBron hate. The numbers back up what James and Carter have said about race.

Among blacks, LeBron’s positive Q rating among dropped from 52 percent in January to 39 — however his negative Q rating barely changed, going from 14 percent to 15. Blacks seemed to change what they thought of him, but to a more neutral stance.

Among non-blacks, LeBron’s negative Q rating went from 24 percent to 44 after the decision.

Why different races reacted to the situation in very different ways would make an interesting study in race relations in America.

612 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Lebron who?? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    Let me get this straight- he’s pissed off a lot of people, both black and white around the US, not just in NE Ohio, and NOW he wants to play the race card????? Will he never learn to just keep his mouth shut and play basketball? And the 3 million bucks to the Boys and Girls Club- he could have easily paid that money himself and done without that joke of a TV show.

  2. jeffk - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    What a piece of crap.
    I just lost whatever respect I had left for this guy

  3. jeffk - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    What a piece of crap.
    I just lost whatever respect I had left for this guy

  4. Jesse Jackson - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Thatta boy – pull out the race card when you think it’s advantageous to you! Race had nothing to do with the backlash. The backlash was because LeBron and his little buddies acted liked total idiots throughout the entire FA period. Is LeBron really that insulated from reality that he doesn’t understand he’s a pompous, self-absorbed, arrogant douche?

  5. Lebron who? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    I like your post better than mine. Well said !!!

  6. Lebron who? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    I like your post better than mine. Well said !!!

  7. Lebron who? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    I like your post better than mine. Well said!!

  8. Reverend Al - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Well, if he’s claiming that “arrogant, over-rated, self-absorbed schmucks” now constitute a race, then I have to agree with him.
    Otherwise… not so much.

  9. Spencer - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    OK, now I’m offended. As a black man in America, I’ve seen racism (or as this “A” hole put it:”[How]race played a role”) in a lot of things. This is NOT one of them! I repeat, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Infact, a lot of things that are deemed racist or racially biased actually are not. Most of us sane people, of any race, call it like we see it – STUPID, ARROGANT, Self-absorbed, narcisistic, and the list goes on. Mr. James, you may NOT play the race card here and I hope there is “backlash” for you doing so. You reap what you sow! And to think, I felt sorry for your dumb black ass! Pshhhh!

  10. Lebron who? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    I like your post better than mine. Well said!!

  11. Reverend Al - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Well, if he’s claiming that “arrogant, over-rated, self-absorbed schmucks” now constitute a race, then I have to agree with him.
    Otherwise… not so much.

  12. joe durt - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Oh okay Lebron. The real problem for why people think you’re a douche is because they’re racist. Your ridiculous, immature, megalomaniac, diva-ish displays are perfectly acceptable at all times… everyone who calls you out must be racist. Way to be, superstar.

  13. BadBozo - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Yes, it appears race was a factor. A race to get the heck out of Ohio. He just doesn’t want to admit he totally hated living there and wanted to go to a warmer climate. The place is freezing cold in the winter. I think the whole thing was simply about that issue. And Dwayne Wade, who was channeling Riley from the grave, exploited that.
    A gazillionaire complaining he’s being unfairly treated because of race, in a country with million of p@ss poor whites and blacks, is the height of arrogance. And his idiot buddy, or as they call it now, “business partner” is trying to get some limelight for himself, even though he’s probably a no talent hanger on.
    I think Mr. James is ripe to get ripped off for a large chunk of his earnings by the crew that is surrounding him.
    Here’s the deal James, Nobody cares about you anymore, you are not some kind of folk hero, you are a legend in your own mind. While you go around puffing out your chest, the other contenders in your conference are designing schemes to take on you and your Superfriends lineup.
    Go prove something on the court man, stop putting your foot in it. You don’t interview well.

  14. Spencer - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    OK, now I’m offended. As a black man in America, I’ve seen racism (or as this “A” hole put it:”[How]race played a role”) in a lot of things. This is NOT one of them! I repeat, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Infact, a lot of things that are deemed racist or racially biased actually are not. Most of us sane people, of any race, call it like we see it – STUPID, ARROGANT, Self-absorbed, narcisistic, and the list goes on. Mr. James, you may NOT play the race card here and I hope there is “backlash” for you doing so. You reap what you sow! And to think, I felt sorry for your dumb black ass! Pshhhh!

  15. Lean6 - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    You idiots and your stupid “race card”. He was asked a question and he answered it. The numbers backed up his sentiments. Suck it up morons.

  16. Reverend Al - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    Well, if he’s claiming that “arrogant, over-rated, self-absorbed schmucks” now constitute a race, then I have to agree with him.
    Otherwise… not so much.

  17. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    OK, now I’m offended. As a black man in America, I’ve seen racism (or as this “A” hole put it:”[How]race played a role”) in a lot of things. This is NOT one of them! I repeat, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Infact, a lot of things that are deemed racist or racially biased actually are not. Most of us sane people, of any race, call it like we see it – STUPID, ARROGANT, Self-absorbed, narcisistic, and the list goes on. Mr. James, you may NOT play the race card here and I hope there is “backlash” for you doing so. You reap what you sow! And to think, I felt sorry for your dumb black ass! Pshhhh!

  18. BadBozo - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Yes, it appears race was a factor. A race to get the heck out of Ohio. He just doesn’t want to admit he totally hated living there and wanted to go to a warmer climate. The place is freezing cold in the winter. I think the whole thing was simply about that issue. And Dwayne Wade, who was channeling Riley from the grave, exploited that.
    A gazillionaire complaining he’s being unfairly treated because of race, in a country with million of p@ss poor whites and blacks, is the height of arrogance. And his idiot buddy, or as they call it now, “business partner” is trying to get some limelight for himself, even though he’s probably a no talent hanger on.
    I think Mr. James is ripe to get ripped off for a large chunk of his earnings by the crew that is surrounding him.
    Here’s the deal James, Nobody cares about you anymore, you are not some kind of folk hero, you are a legend in your own mind. While you go around puffing out your chest, the other contenders in your conference are designing schemes to take on you and your Superfriends lineup.
    Go prove something on the court man, stop putting your foot in it. You don’t interview well.

  19. Lean6 - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    You idiots and your stupid “race card”. He was asked a question and he answered it. The numbers backed up his sentiments. Suck it up morons.

  20. ckaster - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    Lol, what a sap. I’ll take a small part of the blame…but it was really about “race”…what a laugh. Just because of how he has acted from the start of free agency through now…I hope the Heat lose and big. Sorry, Wade…I actually have liked you since your college days…but, unfortunately you now have this loser on your team…got to root against your whole team for it…sorry :(

  21. Lebron who? - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Maybe what Lebron should have done before “The Decision” was sat down with ….get ready for this, “The Lebron James Grandmothers Club”- yes believe it or not, it does exist, and told them of his decision, and listened to what they had to say. He probably would have gotten better advise than listening to his advisors.

  22. ckaster - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Lol, what a sap. I’ll take a small part of the blame…but it was really about “race”…what a laugh. Just because of how he has acted from the start of free agency through now…I hope the Heat lose and big. Sorry, Wade…I actually have liked you since your college days…but, unfortunately you now have this loser on your team…got to root against your whole team for it…sorry :(

  23. D-Mack - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    Lets see, a Black man wielding power in a way no one has ever seen and he gets backlash from it. Could race play a factor….
    And you geeks showed that race plays a factor by coming on here and posting as influential Black leaders.

  24. Reverend Al - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Hahaha… he’d have gotten better advice from a rock than from his “advisors”.

  25. BadBozo - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    You know, the NBA is becoming about as prestigious and dignified as “The Gathering of the Juggalos”. Uh, no offense to your Juggalos out there….
    “Next Up, LeBron James and Tila Tequila duet.
    Thank you.

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