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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. Steve Kasan - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    LeBRONCEPTION
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqH5e7N11nw
    LeBron James mixed with the film Inception. I know it sounds strange but when you watch this video that my Toronto film production made, everything makes sense.
    And, by the way, LeBron playing the race card is too much. But, I personally do not care, my personal animosity is with Bosh being a Raptors fan.

  2. Steve Kasan - Oct 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    LeBRONCEPTION
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqH5e7N11nw
    LeBron James mixed with the film Inception. I know it sounds strange but when you watch this video that my Toronto film production made, everything makes sense.
    And, by the way, LeBron playing the race card is too much. But, I personally do not care, my personal animosity is with Bosh being a Raptors fan.

    • cleareye1 - Dec 2, 2010 at 5:47 PM

      Why would anyone care if your company mad a movie? There must be better ways to promote it.

  3. Yui Poi - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Listen up,
    We all know white folks were mad at Lebron James…it affected them more personally than Blacks. Thats FACT. Stats prove it.
    cleveland= sympathetic white figure
    Lebron= Sympathetic black figure
    Lebron James= Dred Scott
    Dan Gilbert= John Emerson
    NBA to whites= Uneducated over paid players and thugs
    NBA to blacks= Great athletes getting paid for a sport
    Whites= Players make too much money
    Blacks= They make what they deserve
    Whites favorite players= Nash, Durant, Duncan
    Blacks favorite players= Lebron, Iverson, Wade
    Why blacks hate Kobe= Married a non black girl, snitched on shaq, arrogant, tries to be like MJ too much.
    What blacks hate Favre= Redneck, favortism in the media, doesn’t get the same criticism as black qb’s.
    Why whites hate Lebron= Power to hold white city hostage, dancing, showmanship, Controlling his destiny/assets, employing his own, bucking the system.
    Black dog= just another animal
    white dog= member of the family
    3 sacred things Blacks should never mess with:
    1. white women
    2. white power structure
    3. Dogs
    Subconscious Human hierarchy
    1. White folks
    2. Dogs
    3. blacks

    • imcj2010 - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:08 PM

      @ Yui Poi

      That entire comment was ignorant and highly inaccurate…

  4. Yui Poi - Oct 3, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Listen up,
    We all know white folks were mad at Lebron James…it affected them more personally than Blacks. Thats FACT. Stats prove it.
    cleveland= sympathetic white figure
    Lebron= Sympathetic black figure
    Lebron James= Dred Scott
    Dan Gilbert= John Emerson
    NBA to whites= Uneducated over paid players and thugs
    NBA to blacks= Great athletes getting paid for a sport
    Whites= Players make too much money
    Blacks= They make what they deserve
    Whites favorite players= Nash, Durant, Duncan
    Blacks favorite players= Lebron, Iverson, Wade
    Why blacks hate Kobe= Married a non black girl, snitched on shaq, arrogant, tries to be like MJ too much.
    What blacks hate Favre= Redneck, favortism in the media, doesn’t get the same criticism as black qb’s.
    Why whites hate Lebron= Power to hold white city hostage, dancing, showmanship, Controlling his destiny/assets, employing his own, bucking the system.
    Black dog= just another animal
    white dog= member of the family
    3 sacred things Blacks should never mess with:
    1. white women
    2. white power structure
    3. Dogs
    Subconscious Human hierarchy
    1. White folks
    2. Dogs
    3. blacks

  5. Yui Poi - Oct 3, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Listen up,
    We all know white folks were mad at Lebron James…it affected them more personally than Blacks. Thats FACT. Stats prove it.
    cleveland= sympathetic white figure
    Lebron= Sympathetic black figure
    Lebron James= Dred Scott
    Dan Gilbert= John Emerson
    NBA to whites= Uneducated over paid players and thugs
    NBA to blacks= Great athletes getting paid for a sport
    Whites= Players make too much money
    Blacks= They make what they deserve
    Whites favorite players= Nash, Durant, Duncan
    Blacks favorite players= Lebron, Iverson, Wade
    Why blacks hate Kobe= Married a non black girl, snitched on shaq, arrogant, tries to be like MJ too much.
    What blacks hate Favre= Redneck, favortism in the media, doesn’t get the same criticism as black qb’s.
    Why whites hate Lebron= Power to hold white city hostage, dancing, showmanship, Controlling his destiny/assets, employing his own, bucking the system.
    Black dog= just another animal
    white dog= member of the family
    3 sacred things Blacks should never mess with:
    1. white women
    2. white power structure
    3. Dogs
    Subconscious Human hierarchy
    1. White folks
    2. Dogs
    3. blacks

  6. tm - Oct 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Unless you yourself are African American you have no right to EVER say that the race card is “fake” or is pulled out when ever it is convenient…..is racist . Racism lives in the hearts and minds of many people and they themselves arent even aware of it untill they make a comment such as yourself which reveals just how in- sensitive they really are to the issues of race and race relations. There is a double standard that exist in many peoples hearts.

  7. terry - Oct 4, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Just 1 question – where is it written that us whities have the monopoly on racism?

  8. uh ooh - Oct 6, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    There people go again, If you react to race subjects like this it makes some people think you don’t want to face reality or you’re in denial. Hey people racism exists, try to put yourself in someone else shoes (situation) and then see if your so quick to write off racist attitudes. Oh I forgot some people don’t want to do that!

  9. soannoyed - Oct 14, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Racism does exist, but not in this case, Lebron is one of the greatest players in the world, but has no class.

  10. llearile2 - Nov 3, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Reply to soannoyed.

    Compared to what white athletes. Lebron is a talented ypoung, Black man who has received treatment a white sports star would never have gotten. Yes racism exists, and Lebron has felt its ugly sting! While, I don’t condone racism of any kind, a white athlete never would have been ridiculed in the media as this man was for making a decision about his own personal life. He has been ridiculed for something that other players do–go to other teams, owners do–fire coaches, and franchises do–trade players. Now they are trying to get him to-just apologize for how he did it, and everything will be okay. Everything is already okay, he doesn’t need to placate anybody. It’s his life, his money, and his choice. The owner of the Cavaliers while trying to destroy Lebron makes his team look weak and himself stupid!

    It’s like throwing a tantrum, because someone took their marbles and went home!

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