LeBron James suffered the dubious distinction this week of being tagged the most hated player in the NBA. In attempting to explain this news, three Fox Sports 1 panelists flailed and failed to come up with a complete and accurate explanation. The most notable take-away of the Undisputed program was what never entered the conversation.
Chris Broussard said it’s all because James “stands for something.” Which makes some people love him and some people hate him. “The first thing LeBron stands for is against racial injustice,” he said. “You can argue that LeBron is the player that started this whole movement across these various sports leagues of players standing up against injustice.” When he and his Miami Heat teammates wore hoodies after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, a lot of people disliked James, Broussard added.
James also stands for player empowerment and acts as a championship team-building power broker, Broussard continued. “He did it when most of the country was hatin’ on him because of it. That was polarizin’, and a lot of people don’t like that. He started this trend, which is now commonplace of players putting their team together.” Thirdly, some of the fans who think Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever hate James – including black fans.
Undisputed firebrand Shannon Sharpe agreed with Broussard’s opinions. He also said racism is involved, suggesting white people don’t like black athletes speaking out on issues.
Panelist Skip Bayless said he doesn’t rationalize the most-hated poll as strictly race-based, but jabbed a lot of white Americans who are racist. “LeBron is the most beloved black athlete by the majority of the white community ever. What’s to hate about him? He started the I Promise School. Because he has the courage to take a stand. It’s honorable for him to take the stands he’s taken. He’s the trailblazer, man.” A lot of people have James fatigue because he’s been in so many NBA Finals, Bayless said.
Okay, the panelists will walk away with some parting gifts for trying. And here are the elephants in the room that they couldn’t see.
- James made the indefensible statement that police officers are hunting down blacks in America.
- He also claimed that someone spray-painted racist graffiti on his Los Angeles home. Los Angeles police never found any such evidence.
- James said he “bends for nobody.” Yet he refuses to condemn China for its systemic racism and belittled people who took the commies to task for that.
- Will Cain said James is “basically Brian Williams on a basketball court.”
- After the Lakers won the NBA title in 2020, James bitterly demanded he should get his “damn respect.” Nobody likes a sore winner.
- James thinks he should receive the MVP award every season and gripes when he doesn’t win it. Nobody likes a sore loser.
- Frequently yelping about “voter suppression,” James openly campaigns for Democrats. That alone alienates half the country.
LeBron and his media supporters need to face the truth: he’s a real downer and America sees him for what he is.