Jesse Jackson’s response to Dan Gilbert’s comments
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Reacts to Dan Gilbert’s
CHICAGO (July 11, 2010)—“Mr. Dan Gilbert’s
accusations, expressed in an open letter to LeBron James after his
announcement that he will play next year’s NBA season for the
Miami Heat, have legal and social implications for the league, its
union and the character of LeBron James. By saying that he has
gotten a free pass and that people have covered for him way too
long, Gilbert suggests that LeBron has done something illegal or
He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the
Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave
master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an
owner employee relationship–between business partners–and LeBron
honored his contract.
He must know the Curt Flood suit, which changed plantation rules
and created free agency; and the Spencer Haywood suit that changed
If he believes that LeBron quit in games 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the
2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, then, why did he fire the
coach? If he believes that LeBron intentionally quit, determining
the outcome of those games, why did he pursue him and offer him and
additional $120 million to stay in Cleveland?
These accusations endanger LeBron. His jersey is being burned in
effigy, and he is being projected as a betrayer by the owner.
When players or coaches speak disrespectfully to or about
referees, they are fined. If Mr. Gilbert cannot prove that LeBron
changed games by quitting, he defames his character. He should have
to face a challenge by the NBA and the players association. LeBron
has every right to an apology.
Other players cannot just watch this as if it is LeBron’s
personal problem. This is an attack upon players in general.
LeBron is not a child, nor is he bound to play on
Gilbert’s plantation and be demeaned. He has been a model
citizen and has inspired the children of Akron, Cleveland, the
State of Ohio and the United States.
He has conducted camps for children, helped to win a gold medal
for our nation and his public deportment has been excellent.
Mr. Gilbert’s statement is mean, arrogant and presumptuous.
I hope that LeBron will speak up and speak out clearly and