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LeBron James says race played role in backlash to his decision

Sep 29, 2010, 10:36 PM EST

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. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I LUV IT !!!!!!!! AND BITCH GO BACK TO THE KITCHEN WHERE YOU BELONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. steve k - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    People in Cleveland LOVED Lebron then he left, no we hate him. How the hell does race play a factor? He was an idol in Cleveland so why didnt we hate him then?

  3. Scott in the Bronx - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    This guy is such a piece of SH*T…..Talking in the 3rd person, acting like he is gods gift to the world and now everyone hates me because I am black..
    No A*SHOLE, I dont hate you because your black…I hate you because you are a scumbag….You ran and hid to Miami because you know you dont have what it takes to win on your own and then you made a spectacle of yourself with that sh*t tv program while fans all over the U.S waited patiently…Then you gave the middle finger to everyone on live television…Get a grip! You were one of the most loved athletes in the world and now you are one of the most hated…Stop whining and play some ball..Go break a leg (Literally)

  4. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    that was the most ridiculous comment in this thread. you think tiger woods antics’ were criticized because he was black??? not because he had 15+ mistresses??? grow up.

  5. willie smith - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    you never respected him, you now have a reason to say you dislike him. Never switich JOBS U RACIST!

  6. Jeff - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I’d reword the title. “Deciding to Blame it on Race Backfires and Increases Backlash.”

  7. Tee - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Black people have been victims, so racist comments confronted is not crap. However it is a little harder to listen when it comes from multi-millionaire athletes.

  8. chris - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    If you really did your research just as many white people hated brett farve when he pulled the same stuff in Green bay and it has nothing to do with race it has to do with the fact Labron is an arogant self centered pric* and let me guess your gona say that african americans didnt rush to judgement as quick, yeah well they didnt rush to judgment on farve either. and further more this guy plays basketball for a living why don’t he just try to enjoy it instead of giving the world a reason to hate him, and here’s another lil tid bit of info for all of you ive seen racism in the worst forms possible not every white in america is a racist so that lil race card dosent hold the same weight anymore and as a white man married to a black women i know a little about the issues and if all of the rest of you dont like what ive said you can pretty much blow it out your AS*

  9. Jesse R - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    You are a high school educated black man and you are gettin paid millions upon millions of dollars to play a game. I wish someone would play the race card on me like that. This is the kind of BS that diminishes real race situations that involve real people in real life situations. LeBron doesn’t even deserve to get booed at this point.

  10. chris - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    If you really did your research just as many white people hated brett farve when he pulled the same stuff in Green bay and it has nothing to do with race it has to do with the fact Labron is an arogant self centered pric* and let me guess your gona say that african americans didnt rush to judgement as quick, yeah well they didnt rush to judgment on farve either. and further more this guy plays basketball for a living why don’t he just try to enjoy it instead of giving the world a reason to hate him, and here’s another lil tid bit of info for all of you ive seen racism in the worst forms possible not every white in america is a racist so that lil race card dosent hold the same weight anymore and as a white man married to a black women i know a little about the issues and if all of the rest of you dont like what ive said you can pretty much blow it out your AS*

  11. bill - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Race card my ass, lol. Its not about you being black lebron. Its about you being who you are, and who you think you are. You are nothing more than a basketball player, period. You do not strike anyone as being very intelligent or thought provoking. You are a basketball player, and that is it, case closed. Even jesse jackson would not blame your downfall on race. It is because of who you are. Grow up, look at yourself in the mirror, What do you see ? Certainly, you are not any kind of king. Court jester ? sounds more fitting

  12. Curious - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    I personally did not think race was a factor, but after seeing the survey results I would like to ask why blacks felt “neutral” and non- blacks almost doubled in feeling negative towards him- not just neutral. Did non- blacks judge him more harshly than blacks did? Apparently from the survey they did. It appears that Lebron was correct. Race played a factor- based on the survey reported on by Kurt Helin

  13. chris - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    If you really did your research just as many white people hated brett farve when he pulled the same stuff in Green bay and it has nothing to do with race it has to do with the fact Labron is an arogant self centered pric* and let me guess your gona say that african americans didnt rush to judgement as quick, yeah well they didnt rush to judgment on farve either. and further more this guy plays basketball for a living why don’t he just try to enjoy it instead of giving the world a reason to hate him, and here’s another lil tid bit of info for all of you ive seen racism in the worst forms possible not every white in america is a racist so that lil race card dosent hold the same weight anymore and as a white man married to a black women i know a little about the issues and if all of the rest of you dont like what ive said you can pretty much blow it out your AS*

  14. bill - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Race card my ass, lol. Its not about you being black lebron. Its about you being who you are, and who you think you are. You are nothing more than a basketball player, period. You do not strike anyone as being very intelligent or thought provoking. You are a basketball player, and that is it, case closed. Even jesse jackson would not blame your downfall on race. It is because of who you are. Grow up, look at yourself in the mirror, What do you see ? Certainly, you are not any kind of king. Court jester ? sounds more fitting

  15. Curious - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    I personally did not think race was a factor, but after seeing the survey results I would like to ask why blacks felt “neutral” and non- blacks almost doubled in feeling negative towards him- not just neutral. Did non- blacks judge him more harshly than blacks did? Apparently from the survey they did. It appears that Lebron was correct. Race played a factor- based on the survey reported on by Kurt Helin

  16. charlie - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Can’t imagine why he or any other superstar athlete would be so egotistical. Not like anyone cares enough about their decisions or comments to take the time during their work days to stop and comment about them.

  17. Curious - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I personally did not think race was a factor, but after seeing the survey results I would like to ask why blacks felt “neutral” and non- blacks almost doubled in feeling negative towards him- not just neutral. Did non- blacks judge him more harshly than blacks did? Apparently from the survey they did. It appears that Lebron was correct. Race played a factor- based on the survey reported on by Kurt Helin

  18. charlie - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Can’t imagine why he or any other superstar athlete would be so egotistical. Not like anyone cares enough about their decisions or comments to take the time during their work days to stop and comment about them.

  19. charlie - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Can’t imagine why he or any other superstar athlete would be so egotistical. Not like anyone cares enough about their decisions or comments to take the time during their work days to stop and comment about them.
    Mr. Blackman’s post is the only level-headed response so far.

  20. Curious - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    I personally did not think race was a factor, but after seeing the survey results I would like to ask why blacks felt “neutral” and non- blacks almost doubled in feeling negative towards him- not just neutral. Did non- blacks judge him more harshly than blacks did? Apparently from the survey they did. It appears that Lebron was correct. Race played a factor- based on the survey reported on by Kurt Helin

  21. Hispanic dan - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    maybe it is the fact that you are a Talented Multi-millionare who is both a prick and a crybaby

  22. Curious - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    I agree with Jim- though I am little less angry. HAHA
    I personally did not think race was a factor, but after seeing the survey results I would like to ask why blacks felt “neutral” and non- blacks almost doubled in feeling negative towards him- not just neutral. Did non- blacks judge him more harshly than blacks did? Apparently from the survey they did. It appears that Lebron was correct. Race played a factor- based on the survey reported on by Kurt Helin

  23. Matthew - Sep 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    “Queen”-James…
    It seems the NBA has more Divas than the “Real Housewives of..”
    Hey Lebron,
    Money don’t buy you class.

  24. Zachariah Blott - Sep 30, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Three weeks ago I said Carmelo had overtaken the “Worst Summer” crown from LeBron – now I’m leaning back to LeBron because he found yet another way to cause widespread hatred.
    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/9/1/carmelo-hijacks-lebrons-worst-summer-crown.html

  25. chris - Sep 30, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    douche knows no color

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