(Not that it really matters)
As a political writer with a zealous love for American football and a general joy for most sports, I strive to avoid mixing sports with politics. I feel one is a pure source of entertainment and the other is an essential piece to a functioning society. Although, some could make the argument that American politics in recent years has been more competitive and compelling than American professional sports.
As basketball season revs up and football season concludes, I suppose this is a good time to announce that I am throwing my full support behind the home-team, Portland Trail Blazers.
If you know me personally, you would have noticed my undying loyalty for LeBron James and his teams over the last 10 – 12 years. Growing up as a football-jock, I didn’t always follow basketball closely, but I fanatically endorsed LeBron when he left Cleveland for Miami, and from that point on he was my guy as I became a legitimate fan.
My conscience won’t allow myself to support LeBron James or his team any longer. I now tentatively support Damian Lillard because I appreciate how he seems to avoid bringing political discussion into the sports arena.
As is the case with most professional athletes, I assume Damian Lillard is grossly uneducated and was caught up in the tribalism, groupthink and mob mentality of last year’s BLM/Antifa protests. I think he spoke against the rioting, looting and violent criminal actions. If he didn’t, he should have, but I simply lost all respect for LeBron once he endorsed a cop murderer and evolved into an uneducated Malcolm-X impersonator last summer. He forgot the fact that he bounces a ball for a profession. He showed his true colors when he adopted that absurd “Systemic Racism” theory that’s been floating around the universities and then lumped all cops together as irredeemable racists. He turned a blind eye to barbaric violence, and outright murder. Now, I’m forewarning the reader, I’m about to put on my psychoanalysis cap. . .
*puts on psychoanalysis cap*
I see LeBron as a racist in his own right. I think he has a subconscious, maybe even conscious hatred toward white people. He has a massive, racist chip on his shoulder and he feels like he’s a NBA slave for the white man’s entertainment. I noticed it when he played with Kevin Love and treated Love like shit for the entire duration they were together in Cleveland.
Also, when the affirmed racist former Clippers owner Donald Sterling was ousted from the league, LeBron made comments likening himself and other black professional athletes as modern slaves. I can’t pretend to see things from his perspective as an African-American man, but I vehemently disagree with his point. Even if the vast majority of professional franchise owners across the leagues are wrinkled, white men who oversee an organization centered around a team of predominantly African-American men, that still doesn’t make them a Grand Cyclops. . . Most owners are actually benign businessmen or fat-cat tycoons just trying to maintain their wealth. In other words, the only color they see is green and most owners rarely physically interact with the team.
LeBron James paints with broad strokes and over-generalizes. Not all professional franchise-owners are like Donald Sterling, nor are they all like Robert Kraft. Not all policemen are like Derek Chauvin, nor are they all like David Dorn.
Most policemen are benevolent, public servants who are dedicated to their job and their community, rather than racist, fascist, white supremacist, bureaucratic, authoritarians oppressing their community. Another obvious cliche must be stated here: there are bad apples in every profession and/or industry. It is up to keen-eyed, caring, articulate citizens to pluck them out like the wisened farmer selectively removing tainted produce from his seasonal stock. The mainstream media has overwhelmingly exhibited its incompetence in that regard. The situation with V. Stiviano, the former mistress of Donald Sterling, is an exceptional example, but that kind of simple courage would serve society well if it were more commonplace. Derek Chauvin was appropriately plucked out. Cities were still burned, lives were still taken out of retribution and bloodlust. LA and cities across America burned, while LeBron fiddled in one of his many mansions. When the frothing mob comes to Baby Bron Bron’s Malibu mansion, you can bet that I’ll be fiddling away. . . on the world’s smallest violin.
LeBron James might fancy himself a celebrity-athlete, civil-rights activist cast in the mold of Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. LeBron can’t hold a candle to those men, regarding what they accomplished and symbolize for the Civil Rights Era. The issues we face today are critical and should be confronted, but we are not experiencing the dire crisis the generation of the 60’s faced. The issues are real, but they have been exaggerated and exacerbated by a malevolent, profit-driven media.
LeBron would do well to follow the examples of Jim Brown and Michael Jordan when balancing the act between celebrity-athlete and political activist. Sports today in America need less political discussion, and much less political activism. We no longer need meat-head, celebrity jocks opining on social issues. We are well over the quota there. We need a self-aware media equipped with self-aware journalists. We need a competent Congress and a motivated Senate that can push petty politics aside and actually labor for the American taxpayer. We’ve got several fires burning in this country, literally and figuratively. It would serve the public very well, if pampered celebrities like LeBron would use their brands as extinguishers, rather than flamethrowers or just as another molotov cocktail.