Home Culture LeBron James, The Media, and The Perception Of Black Males In America

LeBron James, The Media, and The Perception Of Black Males In America

Employee of the Year #MVP

“With the same sword they knight you,
they gon’ good night you with.
Shit, that’s only half if they like you
That ain’t even the half what they might do
Don’t believe me, ask Michael
See Martin, see Malcolm
See Biggie, see Pac,
see success and its outcome
See Jesus, see Judas
See Caesar, see Brutus,
see success is like suicide
Suicide, it’s a suicide
If you succeed,
prepare to be crucified “ – Jay-Z

Whether people realized it or not, the media had a heavy hand in painting King James as a villain. Many people criticized LeBron for the decision (and rightfully so). He admits that it was a error in judgment to put Cleveland on blast and inadvertently make a spectacle of the city on national television. This was his only mistake in the process. Some people made it seem like it was a problem that Bron was taking his free agency into his own hands, as if he didn’t have a right to leave Cleveland. I found it funny that the same media that chastised this decision, also benefitted from the entire process. You have flagbearer like Skip Bayless who will chide and lambaste LeBron for any and everything under the sun, yet his NETWORK (ESPN) were the ones who broadcasted “The Decision” in the first place!

Media painted him as the enemy. The talented, selfish, superstar who chose to join forces with other great players in the hopes of a championship, instead of doing it on his own. He left Cleveland at the altar, and led on other cities with illusions of him being their favorite basketball teams saviour.  They called LeBron selfish, yet when Brett Favre held the Packers, Jets, and Vikings hostage for the last few years of his career while deciding to unretire 100 times, he was heralded as a NFL legend, while exhibiting some of the most blatant selfishness in sports history!

Let’s be real: The main people upset at LeBron for the decision were Cleveland fans, fans of teams who were potential destinations during The Decision (Knicks, Nets, Bulls), and Lakers fans who hated him from jump as he was a threat to Kobe’s #1 spot, and need to balance the hate since their team receives it early and often.

When he failed in 2011, it was even easier to despise him when he addressed his critics with the following quote:

“All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today”

Putting LeBron in this type of light, it’s easy to hate him and hope for his failure at every step. This is the trap that I fell into effortlessly. The same trap that the general public falls into when we talk about the perception of black males in America.

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How many times as a black man have I walked by an older white woman and she clutches her purse tightly? How many times have I, as a black man, been told that I “articulate myself really well,” as if black men only speak fluent ebonics? How many times have I, as a black man, hopped in a car with white co-workers and they IMMEDIATELY turn the radio station to hip-hop, as if that’s the ONLY type of music I can listen to without feeling alienated?

These judgements, these stereotypes, develop over time and are perpetuated by media. The errors of the few are magnified and associated with the majority of African Americans. Even amongst our own people, the negative messaging can affect us in the same manner. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I kept my head on a swivel when walking past a group of young black men. Maybe it’s street smarts or maybe I have been indoctrinated to a degree by the same racial biases I oppose.

I look back at all the negativity that Bron has garnished over the past 2 years. LeBron is a player unlike which we have ever seen before with his natural athleticism and skill combination. Colin Cowherd called him “30% MJ, 20% Magic, 50% freak show.” That’s about accurate. He was one of the most loved players in the league until “The Decision.” Once he made that one error, his entire character was called into question. The truth is that until that debacle, and years after, he has been the same person with more maturity.

He’s a dude who’s led a trouble free life. You don’t see him in the tabloids or in jail. A man who took his childhood friends, Maverick Carter, Randy Mims, and Richard Paul, and lifted them up with him in order to control his brand and expand into a real business. How can you be mad at that? In all other instances, LeBron could and should be a role model for young black men who wish to achieve in multiple areas. He took care of his own, graduated high school, has a lucrative career, and set himself up for the future. This is the hope and dream of all mothers for their children, regardless of color! Yet we let ourselves get gassed by blind loyalty to sports teams and a mob-like mentality perpetuated by angry media and social networks.

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LeBron embraced the hate in 2011 and tried to live up to the villain role. This would be a sound strategy for most people, just not for him. James isn’t the villain type. Life is not the WWE. You can play the scripted role of a heel or bad guy, but when you get that negative heat applied to you, the way in which you react shows whether you are built for that type of pressure.

LeBron wants to be liked, and even said in his own words that he was trying to be something he wasn’t instead of just being HIM. Sometimes, as black men, we live to thrive in the face of adversity. We aren’t supposed to live past 21. We aren’t supposed to “talk good.” We shouldn’t surpass the glass ceilings built above us and should stay in our lane and be happy. We don’t take care of our kids. There will never be a Black man as President! Yet despite all of the negativity that has been placed upon us for generations, we still overcome.

Yeah, we feel like gloating at times, throwing it back into society’s face and showing them that their perspective is wack. Some of us can do that, and others can’t. We have to learn to work within the character that is truest to who we are, and flourish accordingly. This is a life lesson embedded into the African American DNA, and it shined through in LeBron during this tumultuous 2 year period for him, culminating with a Miami Heat championship (as a Knicks Fan, that last sentence hurt me to type!)

I saw LeBron celebrate and show humility in victory. I saw the relief in his eyes that he had finally lived up to expectations. He didn’t want to become another great NBA player who failed to win a ring. He has been bred for this since his career began in high school, and he was determined not to let his friends, family, and those who believed in him down. He has been ridiculed for not being clutch, for coming up small in the biggest situations, and for being immature. The more his faults were pointed out, the more his strengths were minimized. This man is the human triple double, yet people shrugged it off as if it didn’t matter.

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He wins MVP awards, and people scoff as if anyone can win 3 MVPs in 9 years. He became the leader of the Miami Heat, and was clearly the best and most important player on that team. Dwyane Wade acknowledged this and deferred, yet many were hesitant and defiant to do the same. As black men, our faults are accentuated more than our endearing characteristics. It isn’t fair, but neither is life. We have to make sure we are on point at all times, because certain leniencies aren’t guaranteed. We can’t use slang in a job interview or with potential business associates without being juxtaposed as “one of them rap niggas” or “a cool black guy like what we see on TV”. In most professional daily interactions, we have to assume that everything we say, wear, or do will be scrutinized to the nth degree. Black men live with this daily pressure, yet still thrive. How real is that?!

LeBron James is officially King. His ride to championship #1 is a great lesson in public perception of the black athlete and black males in general. When you play your position, everything is ok. Once you venture to be great, and take ownership over your brand and career, you can get chastised, especially if the route you take is the way less travelled. You will be reminded of your failures until you can succeed at a high level. High enough to silence your critics and force them to admire you.

Unfortunately, these lofty goals cannot be attained by most African American males by winning at sporting events. Many of us are still fighting that struggle to succeed and silence the critics in society. We might reach that level and still receive the same level of prejudice and bias, but the beauty in being black is knowing that you won despite these circumstances. LeBron’s win is another win for the African American male.

Twitter: @StreetzTalk

Email: Streetz@singleblackmale.org


  1. Great post! I agree, but I also get upset because black men bring this on themselves. You can't blame society for stereotyping and setting mental limitations on black men when what they are seeing most often is what is LOUD and WRONG. We need the examples of what's right to step into the lime light more often!

    1. But we’re not the ones controlling the limelight…for every shooting there was probably some type of fundraiser or community event that didn’t get any notice, for every deadbeat dad there are great fathers, for every thug theres a successful graduate.

      1. "But we're not the ones controlling the limelight"

        Yes and no. When we do get a chance to control the limelight how often do we put all the positives out there? Not saying that some don’t try to make the positive known, but some don’t care. For example World star hip-hop is ran by a black man, he could have used that site to show as many positive examples of what black people are doing or have it focus minority news and success as a whole. But as we all know that might not make the quick bucks, like having a video of a homeless woman making her a$$ clap in McDonalds for a chesses burger. Not only that when we when we do put something positive out there we have to go through heck and high water to get out own people to support it.

  2. First off….super personal note:

    I had the BEST day EVER yesterday! I totally hinged my entire future on a hunch and I was like….pleasegothroughpleasegothroughpleasegothrough….I feel like a hit a billion dollar homerun with this program I just wrapped cuz everything worked out exactly how I planned/thought it would and I was like YES! Success! I wish I invested in SBM: I'm secretely swooning. Like really. I was sitting here like "meh. another project? It IS kinda sweet though. mmmmmm. na. I'ma pass and just take time off." Smfh. I effing knew it. I was like….wtf is this a company or just a blog? lmao this would've been so clutch but man. #impressed

    *clears throat* Anyway! The post……

      1. "Once you venture to be great, and take ownership over your brand and career, you can get chastised, especially if the route you take is the way less travelled."

        No. It wasn't.

        I passed on this blog and took a risk that turned out well for me. But I'll be sure to remember the past celebration of children's graduations and birthdays in the comment streams of posts — which had nothing at all to do with them.

        If there's a comment that goes over your head or that you don't entirely understand, by all means, ask for clarity. Thankfully I'm celebrating and in a good mood…..and have become immune to criticism over the years.

  3. Yeah I can definitely relate to negative attention when you're tryna do something new, especially when you only have eyes for absolute greatness. It sucks. Every decision is scrutinized, every feeling, every thought, every opinion, every accomplishment is just massacred and then when you know you've got something good and you know you're making the best choices, sometimes you just get this "f*ck it" mentality. Like. I sincerely don't care. Do what I did. You can't????????? Then sit down and shut up. *smack talking spree* Sometimes you've just gotta burn through those ropes and blast your way through the ceiling. Be supported for who you genuinely are and the truest form of your passion. It's worth it.

    1. I'm not hating on him because he's a ball player but just on the basic level of character: the responsibility he takes on at such a young age, the work ethic, the dedication, the pressure, how he performs, how he handles himself, the fact that so much rests on HIS shoulders. and he just carries it. I respect that. It bugs me when people criticise like I get thats your job. I get that. Give the man his dues and let him enjoy the culmination of all his hard work. Let him have his moment. I couldn't be anyone's wife. I really couldn't. Like Obama? Naaaaaa. I woulda had to tie my hair up and start going at people's necks like na don't come at him sideways. We woulda had issues. But I really do take pride in clearing a path to success for people around me. At the end of the day it feels good to pioneer regardless of the controversy and negativity because people behind you can come up. Rarely do you ever get a pat on the back, rarely does anyone see the dream or the plan and rarely does the effort go acknowledged, yet you still have your legacy.

  4. Man, y’all are really giving me EVERYTHING I need in posts right now. Thank you SBM.

    I love black men. I love y’all so much!!! I want you all to succeed. My younger brother will be twenty years old in a couple of months and its hitting me – he is a young, black man in America. And he’s begun the journey your post is talking about. And I’m just so very proud of y’all for overcoming and being so strong and gorgeous and alladat 🙂

    Part of the reason the tv series The Wire was so poignant and sad for me was because its like how many of us/yall had a chance in the first place? Duquan aka Dookie tried to do right, but ended up messed up anyway – D’Angelo was born into the drugs and got murked trying to get out.

    That’s why Im proud of the men doing it. I understand its hard, and thats why yall are the truest form of the Sh*t and I will give my support always 🙂

  5. This post was really good. Dealing with prejudice the other day and I read this post at the right time. Thanks again it was highly appreciated

  6. Honestly….I like Lebron. I didn't want him to win….but I like him as a person. You're right…end of the day he's a good guy. No one can say he is not the second best player in the league (behind Kobe). The man was truly made to be a basketball player. BUT…..that decision crap said a lot for his character. Yes the media made it big….but its still not something he can just shrug off. End of the day, I don't know him personally or care about him, but the LeBron we know…makes us all split side. Those that love him no matter what….those that hate him …..those that got over "the Decision"….and those that want him to really be sorry for not only leaving a team…but letting down a state, leading others on, and being too cocky.

    1. I dont think LeBron was cocky…more like naive and oblivious. In his eyes i really thought he thought that using the Decision to raise millions for the Boys and Girls Club was the right move. Say what you will about going to Miami…Cleveland had no play. They blew their money on past his prime Shaq, Antawn Jamison, and didnt trade JJ Hickson when he was still worth something. I actually like LeBron (when he’s not playing the Celtics) and i root for him.

  7. I'm impressed that u know about Coldplay……..lol
    I only know about this song from the white girl I work with…..lol But I like it and I'm feelin the beat and love Jay-Z so it's a pretty cool collab.
    I like Bron and I'm very happy for him. I feel he worked hard and played hard and definitely earned this win. He earned his stripes and went through the fire and was hazed by the media and people unmercifully when he was with Cleveland, (even by some Clevelanders) and still now with Miami.
    He made it and crossed the sands and "earned his letters." Folks need to not hate and congratulate.
    This is one thing in our community that hurts us. When we always praise success, and don't support and encourage during times of failure when the love is needed the most.
    We can be so fair-weather sometimes it isn't funny.
    "Many of us are still fighting that struggle to succeed and silence the critics in society." And amongst family, friends and ourselves.
    But at the end of the day – This is still The Truth- "despite all of the negativity that has been placed upon us for generations, we still overcome."
    btw – This is my fav Bron pic now and my new wallpaper….*smile* Go Heat!

  8. Great article, but I just had to chime in and say (in general, not pointing fingers!!) unless you've spent time in Cleveland you don't realize how the perception of LeBron and/or Cleveland fans has become distorted.

    The majority of black folks are perfectly ok with LeBron. I'm freaking proud of that dude. I'm an inner city kid and refuse to be a hating monkey in a barrel.

    The majority of white folks (and a quite a few Puerto Ricans, for whatever reason) are still pissed at him. In fact we have a saying that they're pissed their favorite tap dancer left. *whoops*

    That is all.

    Here's to many more championships! Any chance to celebrate going above and beyond mediocrity is a dandy one in my book.

  9. Ok, this is yet Another post about Bron-Bron being announced as a God of baseball and ever since his 3rd year in the league it’s be nauseating. Yes, LeBron is a Great Player, but ever since High School he’s been Cocky and a Jerk when he isn’t around little kids. I’ve seen him and his HS team crush other Ohio teams, all the while getting a pass from the Ohio High School Athletic Association when his mom bought him a Hummer with she got as a “gift”, being eligible for a season even though he got throwback jerseys and autographed them for a retailer, and other Arrogant offenses when he was in the NBA (yankees cap at an Indians playoff hand against NY, being on the Dallas Cowboys sidelines during a Browns game, etc). I get he is from Akron, Not Cleveland, but as a Clevelander that shit rubbed Everyone the wrong way, BUT since the Cavs were winning, Again, he was given Passes.

    The Decision was the last straw and that night the world saw what Cleveland saw on a regular basis and behind the scenes. It wasn’t that he Left, but HOW he Left. Cleveland has had many tragedies in sports, including the Browns leaving (now Seattle knows how it feels to lose a team), and all people paid attention to is his game. He’s a Champion- only because Wade was Injured and Deferred, which didn’t happen in Ohio. He became the Man- the Man of Somebody Else’s Team, not a Team of his Own Creation….

    1. We all agree the decision was wrong, like I stated. I feel for Cleveland I do. Ive actually heard more on the positive side of Bron's character than negative. Its actually hard to gauge a celebrity's true personality. Everyone plays a role, if you are not privy to the script can you really judge?

      He has been ridiculed too much, regardless of expectations, and that is the correlation between him and Black Men in America. Thanks for the comment

    2. Jesus Christ, you're railing on him because of the cap he wore?? Do Cleveland fans realize how bitter they sound? It's like they're the bitter ex who's still talking YEARS later. Look, we get it, but if you can't acknowledge that your ire is shading everything he does, then I don't know what to tell you. Dude could walk into a movie theater with some popcorn and y'all would be like "look at this ninja, eating popcorn like he OWNS the place. who does he think he is?" Y'all. must. chill.
      My recent post inomallday: Need to clean, but want to nap…zzzzzz

  10. I think as black men, adversity is just part of the script. For the most part we’re started off in rough neighborhoods and poorly funded schools. We learn that college is the key to success so they double tuition and significantly lower the value of a Bachelor’s degree. You make it thru that, well good luck finding a good job because most “entry level” positions require 2-3 year experience. Oh and while you wait, your loan interest rate is doubling so you better get on that especially if you want that house later on. The game is rigged.

  11. "How many times as a black man have I walked by an older white woman and she clutches her purse tightly?

    Once I was getting out of my car (Acura TL) in a parking lot, and a woman next to me in an Accord looked at me nervously while setting her alarm. I audibly laughed at her, took a glance at my car, then at hers, and laughed as I walked away. The look on her face was priceless. I noticed that scorn is the best solution to purse-clutching. Make them realize how dumb they are acting.

    "They called LeBron selfish, yet when Brett Favre held the Packers, Jets, and Vikings hostage …he was heralded as a NFL legend, while exhibiting some of the most blatant selfishness in sports history!

    Trust me, as a Wisconsinite, we have had hatred for Favre with his "I'm retired, no wait I'm back, change everything around for me!" attitude, at least until Rodgers finally had his chance to shine.

  12. I see what you're saying Streetz, I just think Lebron is a bad example. I look at Lebron and I see so much of Magic Johnson in him, but almost 25 years later we've forgotten that Lebron is put in the spotlight for the very things Magic was persecuted for. The partying, constantly being in the limelight, the desire to be not just an athlete but a celebrity, all that were things Magic got in trouble for doing. It doesn't extend to Lebron because most people know how lucrative "Lebron James" the business is, they turn a blind eye.

    He's not a role model at all. He didn't take HS seriously. His commercials about staying in school and earning an education are the biggest sham in the world. Let's be clear, he put his HS diploma at risk because of the Hummer that was purchased and the countless other offenses that surfaced. He might not have been found guilty, but he PUT them at risk. If the HS education was that important to him, he would not have put it at risk. He also had a full athletic scholarship to any school in America. He didn't take advantage of that because the NBA, a decision that is more about money than basketball was more important. He turned down a chance at an education, something that several Black HS seniors will not have the opportunity to do.

    Professionally, you'd have to commend him in the same way you commend Floyd Mayweather. But does that make Floyd a role model? No… There's so much that goes into professional success that you can't really use that as a means to elevate someone or uplift their image. Him putting his friends onto business ventures which the senior leadership is still dominated by whites isn't really saying much. His best friend is in charge of his appearances? I've seen local managers make a career out of that and it's not saying much that you can place Lebron at this club and this charity event around the nation.

    Personally, we do NOT know Lebron. There's very little anyone knows about Lebron outside of the spotlight. All the people who have interacted with him personally don't have great things to say. Outside of women… which is not surprising. Personally, the people I know who are close to him and have been close to him, don't have nice things to say about him.

    Let's keep it 100, birds of the same feather, flock together. He's best friends with Wade. No slander but… Wade left his wife/baby mother at home and moved to South Beach to act crazy. Lebron left his wife/baby mother in Akron and moved to Cleveland, he didn't even move her down to South Beach right away either. A lot can be said if we stop looking at the spotlight and glance at the those figures moving in the shadows.

    1. I don't even know where to begin so I won't even bother being too elaborate, lol.

      Four things….

      1.LeBron isn't a bad example…best example? No…but bad example? C'mon son.

      2. The business and marketing of the game was totally different back when Magic played compared to now. Not an apples to oranges. Jordan came in and changed the game for everyone making it more socially acceptable. You and I both know this.

      3. Floyd Mayweather beats up women, which takes him out of the role model sweepstakes. However, if you're just speaking strictly professionally he set a damn good blue print for marketing/uplifting his brand.

      4. For the record, LeBron's fiance' didn't want to move down to Miami full-time, he didn't leave her. He finally convinced her to move down after he proposed. They both still maintain residence in Akron, also.

      1. It's cool for us to disagree on this one.

        Jordan didn't change anything. You cannot attribute the marketing strategies of Gatorade, Nike, or Hanes to Michael Jordan. Those were excellent marketing strategies by the Marketing gurus of that time. He was in the right place, at the right time.

      2. Thank you for point number 4 Larry. I was about to address that lol. I hate to be rude but people need not to believe stories others tell. A lot of people who claim to “know” LeBron or have had interactions with him are lying. They don’t know that ninja! Coming from the same community a him and growing up around him I can assure you there aren’t a lot of people who dislike him. There really is no reason to. Let’s not talk about what we heard. Talk about what you know

    2. You're right, though, that we don't personally know LeBron at all….but to be fair we can say that about most "celebrity role models"

      1. The only questionable people who get a pass is when the good outweighs the bad. There's no good to go on with Lebron. We're just saying, "Don't call him selfish for being concerned about him and his family." Um… ok. As everyone else said, when the cameras aren't on… where's the good? And you can't be disagreeing with what I said about education, so we don't have to go there.

        You have to have a track record of doing good before people overlook your shortcomings and questionable behavior.

        1. Ok lets talk then

          Bron has a HSD. I can't hate on that. You know how many friends, how many young black men I know who didn't make it that far? Who opted for a GED? Cant hate on that. He got perks… Im not gonna slander that because the college game (for which you know is booster central) is laced with it. I feel like student atheletes should be compensated so its whatever to me. How can you say he didnt take HS seriously? He graduated!

          Also, how many people do we know that go to college, waste money, graduate, and STILL don;t know WTF they want to do? He had a God given gift, and is making millions. He brought his boys through and they making money now. Professionally, he IS a role model for black youths! If I had the chance to make millions of goto college, as an 18 year old? yeah Im choosing it too.

          I've never heard of any financial issues, any law enforcement issues, domestic issues, or anything with leBron. Hes a 27 year old man who might be cocky, might be arrogant, but from the information we have, isn't a bad role model. he does what he has to do and makes it happen.

          You lumped floyd into a convo about Bron? Cmon son you are reaching for the heavens right now.

          LeBron was WAY more scrutinized than Magic. Cmon son. Magic won a chip as a rookie!

          We dont know none of these Celebrity nikkas. I know enough celebs outside of the glitz and glamour to know that you don't truly know them till you know them, but what is put into public eye BY THEM is what we can go off of for better or worse. If the worst you can say is that he didnt marry his gf immediately going to SoBe, he's a cocky young dude, and him taking $$ or gifts in HS put a High School Diploma in jeporady, than what are we talking about really?
          My recent post #BeTheBetter Fitness Log: Entry 6

        2. #YNCR

          I talked about his HS diploma in my first comment.

          How can you condone him putting his education at risk with allegations that he violated his amateur status? Those allegations not only affected him and his future, but the other players on the team who could have had scholarships rescinded. That's not cool man. You feel that student athletes should be compensated, but you're extending that to high school athletes? Are you serious right now? Are you serious?!

          All the rest of what you said, we can agree to disagree on. You missed the entire point with what I was saying about Magic. Peep what Larry said in response, he was more on point than what you're saying.

        3. Thank you very much for this comment. I'm not sure where this bubbled up from but it seems that there has been this attempt by some black males to try and recast Lebron James as some sort of victim of the system, which he has never been. The Lebron apologists need to stop. He is not some defiant anti-establishment figure.

          He chose to refer to himself as the King.
          He chose to refer to himself as the Chosen One.

          Despite everyone referring to him as the greatest Ball player ever, Jordan still will never publicly accept that title. That humility comes from a man who is a hyper competitive douchebag.

          The Brett Favre analogy is close but it fails in one crucial area. When he went to the Packers he was an unheralded collegiate player. There was no hype attached to him. He was essentially a bust with the Falcons and then had to earn his spot as the Green Bay starter only after the injury of the incumbent. This all started in 1991. By the time the more selfish aspects of his personality started coming out it was 2006,when word of potential retirement came out. The man put in 15 years and never missed a start. I don't like Favre and I think he is overrated but, most people can forgive him because he really represents the athlete who just can't let go.

          Why is it that we as black men of this generation rally around black men with very few redeeming qualities? Biggie nor Tupac should be looked to for anything besides music. Lebron James brought this on himself and we shouldn't try to protect him from the consequences. I would ask that the writer of this post take the time to actually research this man's time in Cleveland before you end up being his Al Sharpton.

          People dislike Lebron because sports is one of the few areas of life where actual merit is rewarded. He and his cohorts decided that they wanted to circumvent that. By the way, he is still not the King of anything. Last I checked he wasn't even the best player since the retirement of Jordan. Kobe – 5 rings, Shaq – 4 rings, Tim Duncan – 4 rings. Before we compare him to MJ and Magic, he needs to bypass those men.

        4. Why is it that we as black men of this generation rally around black men with very few redeeming qualities?


          You assume that we don't. I herald my peers and close friends that do things in the community daily. Fact is, people will take our famous figures and juxtapose them to the "common man" you also forget these dudes were once "normal" like us.

          No one here is being LeBrons Al Sharpton. I use LeBron as an example of how media can skew popular opinion of a person, and how society has done the same to black males in general. I would hope that you read without a biased eye and see past LeBron and look at the bigger issue.

          Sure he was proclaimed the chose one. So was Felipe Lopez once upon a time. Read that again.

          LeBron is the King right now! You sound like you have a lot of sour grapes and i understand that. If you can't understand the plight of the black male in America, you can't appreciate this story.

          Thanks for the comment.
          My recent post #BeTheBetter Fitness Log: Entry 6

        5. Sour grapes? Really? Because I dared to criticize the Lebron. Nonsense.

          You as a writer have a duty to research your subject and from what I read, you did not. You accuse the media of doing something to negatively skew the public's perception of the man when you've shown no evidence of that actually occurring. He and his team were behind the Decision. They approached ESPN. He and D Wade were asked for their input regarding the premature rock concert they held at the beginning of the season two seasons ago. He made those decisions. Is it so hard to believe that even with straight reporting people wouldn't dislike him?

          What I find interesting about your comments is that you completely avoid the general sentiment held by anti lebron fans prior to the Decision, that being that the media was trying to force us to like him. That was where most of the distaste for Lebron came from initially. He was being crowned by this evil media establishment of yours before he earned anything. The same is true of the initial Kobe venom. People didn't like him because people do not like forced and artificial hype.

          The plight of the black male in America has nothing to do with Lebron's actual life and I'm surprised you'd try to trivialize it. You as a Lebron fan are a part of the same positive media hype machine that has overblown his accomplishments. He is not a triple double machine, in fact his first of the year came in game 5 of the Finals. Rajon Rondo is the human triple double.

          Again, I never said Favre wasn't wrong, what I said is that people were more forgiving because he had already played for 15 years. 15. Took the game hostage? I didn't realize that Favre cause an NFL work stoppage.

  13. five star post sir… *salute*

    and i get the tie-in, especially when you are led to believe that it's literally you against the world (despite what others say) that it can turn you into "I'll be the villain" mindset…

    that's why i keep a Vader mask in plain sight.

    1. lol I think it went over most people's heads — the undertone of what he was saying. Reading Rainbow was an awesome program. smfh.

  14. Bron isn't the first and won't be the only athelete to receive perks while in HS. A decision that he made as a kid should NOT be held against him as a grown man. That's completely unfair. You live, you mess up, you learn, you do better. I think LeBron is a good example of that. Good for him! And, Streetz, I think you did a wonderful job on this post! This is why I teach my sons that EVERY decision counts. There's no choice too small or insignificant. Be smart and thoughtful about everything you do…not cause no one will forgive you, but because most will never let you forget…lumping you into a box "(label) black man" that you'll struggle to climb out of. We need to do a better job of giving folks the grace we desire…cause we're all gonna trip up at some point…more than once.

    It's been a great week at SBM, IMO.

  15. This is my Jay-Z line that I think will best describe Lebron when it's all said and done:

    It's "The Gift & the Curse," Uhh, uhh yea. First they love me then they hate me then they love me again .. they love me again.

    That cycle will keep repeating itself.

  16. You know what kills me the most about all this Lebron hate? The fact that people are lambasting a dude for decisions he made between the ages of 17 and 25. As if that wasn't the time period when people made the most clusterf*ck of bad decisions ever. You're villainizing a guy who was barely coming into adulthood for not making properly adult decisions. If that isn't backwards logic, I don't know what is. It's really sad that our talented youth aren't allowed to make any missteps once they hit the spotlight – the time when you're really trying to figure out who you are as a man (or woman) coinciding with the demand that you be absolutely perfect is just absurd. God knows all of us have made some dumb*** mistakes during that period and are still making them now even if it was with the best of intentions.
    My recent post inomallday: Need to clean, but want to nap…zzzzzz

      1. Lol, I know you're mostly joking to prove a point, but I actually wouldn't hate Chris Brown if he actually made steps to becoming a better person. I don't believe in villainizing abusers forever if they make concrete steps to bettering themselves and expressing their emotions in a healthy way. There's a reason why abuse tends to be cyclical – i feel that a lot of abusers don't get the help they need and are just constantly punished instead of assisted to positively contributing to society ( a problem I have with most of our punitive justice system, btw). Where Chris falls short is that he expects people to just get over it without showing that he's working towards becoming a better person he also just needs to get the eff off twitter

        In parallel with Lebron, I think he's admitted his mistakes, and has been making concrete efforts to avert them in the future. At least from what I can tell from the public eye. Like multiple people have said, none of us know how they really are.

        Also from a greater standpoint, I don't think violently attacking a woman and making some bad PR moves are in any way comparable.
        My recent post inomallday: @YinkaDiz lol right? Isn't that what they did for Lebron?

    1. lol @ this comment.

      When you're young and you're superior to people who are older than you and they have no idea how to foster your gifts and nurture them….it does something to you. You wanna be humble you wanna show respect you look for reasons to keep a low profile and stick to yourself you wanna do the right thing. It never gets acknowledged. Then you start to realize people are trying to get you to respect them and yet you did what they at 13. You learned lessons they're learning at 30 when you were in high school. People who are older don't choose to respect those who are younger but by all definitions of the word, are superior. You just get used to the high pressure, negativity bubble.

  17. Gotta make this quicker than Id like so I can make this meeting. 1) Good post. 2) However, I feel strange always getting compared/lumped into celebrity black males for comparison purposes. I'm regular-than-a-mug and I'm fine with that. I remember when I found out I couldnt rap or play basketball/football I thought my life was over – because isnt that all black males can do? My dad called me an idiot and sent me off to college. I just don't like the idea that sometimes it seems folks want that to be seen as the only path for success for us. 3) With all this said, I need to do a better job of being a role model myself. I'm looking into volunteering soon. Maybe boys/girls club or a similar organization. Why did I wait so long? Well, similar to how I felt I had to be a man because I could be a husband. I felt like I had to be a man before I could be a role model. I'm not saying I was right/wrong. I'm saying I had to get some things right in my own life before I told others how to live theirs (or be the man a woman needs, in the form of a husband/father).

    WIM over & out.

  18. Being a black male sucks for me from the standpoint of social ties, we are not unified like that, personally I am bright & driven enough to achieve whatever I want, got help the less fortunate who share my nationality, gender & skin color…

    Not to mention, I hang out in affluent immigrant areas 🙂 Non-blacks see my dark skin 5"7" 200LBS frame, and are SCARED. TO. DEATH. And I supposed to be on of the more meekish Black males. Off the hook.

    Literally, A couple of minutes ago, my old white lady friend passes me the Queens Chronicle and shows me a r*pe, robbery suspect who looks (not so) like me, and just be chill if old white people think he is me & I end up getting detained…

    1. As far as LeBron is concerned… I was rooting for him to win the chip last year & get the dynasty started… And he somehow freaked out in the finals & lost…

      I rooted against him this year, because I wanted to see the backlash would have had, had he lost THIS Finals… As my brother says, "I am looking for the meds", especially if they would have blown that 3-1 series lead.

      I agree with Colin Cowherd (been listening to him since my '06 Georgetown days),

      LeBron is Wilt Chamberlain… Freakishly gifted athlete, Top 10 Basketball Great, should have won more titles.

  19. It continues to strike me as funny, in the ironic way, that the same folks who love Bron for being what is right in sports (a respectable athlete=safe n!66a) now chide him for being selfish (an uppity negro). This is a microcosm of how society views many black men as a whole. Even the president catches it. Until society gets comfortable with us controlling our own destiny (not likely) instances like this will continue to happen.

  20. Final thought about the Decision: How many of us sit here and type, tweet, and facebook that they hate their job and would leave in a heartbeat? No one would blame you because you have a right to be happy, take care of your family, make the most $$$, and not be miserable. People leave jobs and shout it from the heavens and will put them companies on blast on purpose. Thinking like that , LeBron's decision is no longer something to hold onto whether you were from Cleveland or Timbuktu!
    My recent post #BeTheBetter Fitness Log: Entry 6

    1. That right there is a reason that some hate Lebron and what he did; they can't do it themselves. Quite a few people live their lives at a job they hate, not get paid enough for their time, and are basically on the bottom rung. Lebron took his present and future in his own hands, as opposed to leaving it up to somebody else to dictate where he can/can't play. Look at Dominique Wilkins and KG and how they spent their athletic primes for organizations that were continually inept in getting them the help they needed to lift their teams to championship contention. KG lucked up and got traded to Boston, but I doubt it was out of appreciation for him though.

  21. Let's get off the athletes and entertainers for 1 sec. This excerpt of the article resonated with me…

    "As black men, our faults are accentuated more than our endearing characteristics. It isn’t fair, but neither is life. We have to make sure we are on point at all times!"

    In corporate America we are not afforded the 2nd and 3rd opportunities to prove ourselves. No I have never fired or even received a negative review. I simply worked for a company that had no blacks in upper mgmt or even the executive level. They would constantly attempt to bring another black man in from a different company only for him to leave within 2 yrs tops. What puzzled myself (blk young male) was that in order to get into this fortune 100 company one had to go to a certain type of school and attain a certain GPA to get your foot in the door. But once inside we were constantly glanced over for promos. I knew I had to bounce when I listened to one of the vice presidents (white male) talked about how he failed at not only his first 3 positions but also several different business units. SMDH!

    Anyways a black man I do my best to stay on point. But I do occasionally glance at the debauchery site world star! Hey I am human.

    1. I totally agree with you. I have been fortunate to not have to deal with that sort of ignorance primarily because of the industry I work in, but neither less, as a professional and senior manager, I am constantly making sure while I am around co-workers and other professionals in my field, I am always on point. What's sad about that fortune 100 company is if they don't embrace diversity, I will hate to see them 20 years from now because the demographics of this country is changing and strategically, as a business, you have to embrace diversity or you will be constantly operating in the red…..Taking away color, being a professional is what it is, PROFESSIONALISM, but as a brother you definitely have to dot your i's and cross your t's……

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