It’s a good thing the people polling everyone else in the world other than you and me on the likability of LeBron James didn’t have me fill out a form or shoot them an email on James, because I would have skewed their results.
I’m liking — no, loving — this kid more with each passing day.
As the time draws nigh when he, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh commence to eviscerate the NBA — James, while he needs a little seasoning, is demonstrating that he clearly comprehends the power he wields.
King James? Could be.
The latest example of this comes to us by way his Twitter account. James has close to 1 million followers, and it turns out that a good many of them are nothing more than imbecilic, maladjusted bigots.
On Tuesday, James, who apparently receives swathes of hate tweets, invited all of the Neanderthals who long for the days when water fountains and restrooms were segregated, to claim their “two minutes of fame and light!” inviting them on his account rev up their feeble intellects — we say this loosely — and have at him.
Inviting comments, James mockingly called it “Hater Day.” Later, he re-tweeted some of the dimwitted tweets:
You are a big-nosed, big-lipped bug eyed ni**er. Ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness.’
No one wants to hear u speak. Why don’t you speak by laying ur head under a moving car?
I hope your cramps turn out to be a torn hamstring, [expletive]
“I just want you guys to sometimes see it also, to see what type of words are said towards me and towards us as professional athletes,’’ he said. “Everybody thinks it’s a bed of roses when it’s really not. For me, I have enough motivation. But it’s always good to have a little bit more.’‘
Last month, James — who will earn $42 million this year according to Fortune — stared confidently into CNN’s cameras and, when asked by Soledad O’Brien what role race played in media coverage of his announcement to that he was exercising his right to leave Cleveland for Miami, James said, “It’s always, you know, a race factor.”
This was not John Carlos and Tommie Smith — heads bowed, gloved fists raised — in protest of the deplorable treatment of African-Americans during the medal ceremony at the Mexico Olympics. But then, this is not 1968, either.
Thankfully, it was not Michael Jordan’s woefully pathetic 1990 proclamation that “Republicans buy sneakers too,” when His Airness decided it was better business to remain neutral rather than support former then Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt in his bid to remove avowed segregationist incumbent Jesse Helms, a downright despicable human being, from his Senate seat.
James’ statement — televised worldwide — brought out the media’s favorite phrase, the one always attached to any famous African-American athlete, entertainer or celebrity (see Dennis Rodman, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond and any other public figured who had the audacity to suggest that a country that fought its only Civil War over slavery might still have latent racist issues) is hit with when they abort the script: Playing the race card.
Unless you don’t believe that part in The Declaration of Independence that says: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” then feel free to pounce on James for doing what is best for his family.
But also know that this makes you either an idiot or a hypocrite, take your pick.
Despite what things like Q scores and ESPN polls say about James, he is on the right track. He is adroitly crafting a sports empire, taking ownership of his future, something that a pathetic and twisted segment of this society will forever remain incapable of ceding a young black man five years south of his 30th birthday.
The good news is they comprise a segment of the nation that is more dangerous to itself than anyone else, James included. They are disparaged by high-minded Americans and people around the world.
Keep doing what you’re doing, LeBron. Never, ever photograph your privates and mail them to a reporter who once covered you; never drag an inebriated, under-aged co-ed — consenting or not — into a public restroom. Continue to have a conscience, which you clearly have, and consider in the not-too-distant future surrounding yourself with some old heads whom you trust, have your best interest in mind and don’t care how you feel about them.
The rest will take care of itself.