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Point the finger at yourself, LeBron

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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

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Send this column to LeBron James’ black enablers and sycophants, the men and women circling the racial wagons around King James in hopes of being invited to his South Beach parties, the men and women determined to cripple LeBron the way they once crippled Michael Vick.

LeBron James is not an innovator.

He is not the first athlete to create a business and give jobs to his unqualified friends.

Deion Sanders jumped from Super Bowl contender to Super Bowl contender.

Magic Johnson fired Paul Westhead.

Curt Flood and Oscar Robertson are the fathers of free agency.

Please, let’s stop with all the nonsense that white folks are uncomfortable with LeBron because he’s “taken control of his career.”

Give me a &*%$ing break. The rationalization is as tired and lame as listening to Limbaugh defenders claim his black call screener is proof Rush is free of bias.

With his self-aggrandizing, narcissistic one-hour TV exit – The Decision – LeBron James ruined his public image, not racism. LeBron inflicted more damage to his image Wednesday night when he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that race is a factor in the public backlash against him since The Decision.

In an attempt to justify his asinine statement and gain favor with The King, LeBron’s enablers launched a counter offensive. Rather than deal with the real catalyst for the LeBron backlash – The Decision – we heard talk about how troubled some white folks were by LeBron deciding on his own to take his talents to South Beach.

Are you kidding me? Shaquille O’Neal has played for damn near half the NBA. Shaq bolted Orlando and took his talents to Hollywood without turning off most of America.

Exclusive interview

LeBron James spoke with FOX Sports Florida about returning to Cleveland. Hear what he had to say here.

LeBron’s exit was disgraceful. It pissed people off. It painted LeBron as an uncaring boob. I’m sure that some bigots used The Decision as an excuse to air racist comments toward LeBron on Twitter or through e-mail.

No doubt, bigots – of any color – don’t need much of an excuse to flash their stupidity. But that doesn’t mean the backlash against LeBron is racist.

The truth is, LeBron James and his kiddie corps of handlers are no threat to the power structure. None.

They’re not Muhammad Ali and Elijah Muhammad telling the government the Viet Cong never called me nigger. They’re not John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising black fists on the medal stand. Hell, they’re not Barry Bonds chasing down Babe Ruth’s greatest-slugger-of-all-time legacy.

LeBron James and his business partner/friend Maverick Carter are two spoiled kids, drunk on fame and privilege and clueless about how to maximize and utilize the power they have.

I’m speculating, but my hunch is many white folks feel sorry for James. They wish he’d open his mind to mature advice. They hope The Decision isn’t an indication James is going to have a Kobe Bryant-, Lindsay Lohan-, Tiger Woods-child-celebrity fall from grace.

LeBron’s enablers are providing him the racial cocoon of denial. They’re giving LeBron an excuse to avoid dealing with his own bad (The) Decision.

Racism exists. It touches the lives of millionaire black athletes, too. I was at ground zero when it was fashionable for the national white media (and the public) to pretend that Barry Bonds invented steroids. I was one of the first journalists to call out the Duke lacrosse prosecutor for succumbing to the black racism that tried to lynch white college kids on the word of a black hooker.

 

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I don’t leave home without my race card.

I hate it when people throw it around to cover their shortcomings.

On Thursday, LeBron told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that people were looking too deep into his CNN comments, but he stands by what he (and Maverick Carter) said. He’s playing the race-is-a-factor-in-everything card, which is true. But that’s not what he and Carter implied on CNN. They implied that people have a problem with James and his handling of his free-agency situation because his skin is black.

Outside of Cleveland, no one cares or cared that LeBron left. No one could understand why he left in such a classless manner. It’s not like he claimed that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert did him dirty behind the scenes or Cleveland fans mistreated his family the entire time he represented the city.

LeBron pissed on Cleveland because he could and because he apparently doesn’t know any better. Well, people don’t like self-absorbed bullies. So America is taking a dump on LeBron.

Claiming racism might win LeBron the respect of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the folks at ESPN who concocted and participated in The Decision, but all it does in the rest of America is once again illustrate that Team James is in over its head.

LeBron blew a perfect opportunity to say, “Man, I screwed up the way I left Cleveland, and I regret the animosity it created. It’s a mistake I’ve learned from.”

Maverick Carter half-heartedly acknowledged this when he said “the execution could’ve been better.”

Just admit you were dead wrong and apologize. The people unwilling to accept your apology and move on are the people who have a problem with your skin color.

The rest of us are just tired of seeing athletes do dumb (stuff).

Tagged: Heat

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