June 16, 2011
Lebron James Victim of Racial Double Standard
by Randy Shaw
While team owners betray loyal fans by relocating franchises to maximize profits, and players routinely sell their services to the highest bidder, the nation’s sports fans have instead concluded that Lebron James’ move from Cleveland to Miami makes him the worst person in the world. The unrelenting attacks on James over the past year reached a crescendo during the NBA finals, with criticism of almost everything about him reaching unprecedented levels. No white sports star has ever been subjected to such abuse.
That seems a little much. James has been criticized primarily for basically disappearing in the fourth quarters of games (one joke making the rounds goes "I pulled a LeBron and left work 12 minutes early") and for his classless parodying of Dirk Nowitzki's illness.
This, however, we can agree with:
How about the New Jersey Nets, whose billionaire Russian owner has not been criticized for moving a team out of struggling Newark as part of a massive gentrification scheme centered in the Atlantic Yards section of Brooklyn. This too is all about greed, but the predominant white sports community could not care less about primarily African-American Newark losing its only pro sports franchise (and the jobs it brings).
Posted by eric at June 16, 2011 12:10 PM