Once upon a time, people advised athletes not to comment on political or cultural matters. Sadly we don’t expect the same maturity from vacuous celebrities, but at least Michael Jordan knew “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
Once ESPN became a left-leaning network and lost millions of viewers, this policy ended. So it’s no surprise we have openly radical coaches like Pete Carroll, Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich; the exasperating women’s national soccer team; insufferable elitist Theo Epstein; and execrable Colin Kaepernick spouting gobbledygook, while sycophantic corporations like Nike dutifully lap up their hatred
Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and many superstars wisely avoid ideological politics; meanwhile, Curt Schilling, who’s actually knowledgeable, was fired for holding differing views from intolerant media and preening sports leagues.
Drew Brees — a superb person who gave $5 million for COVID relief and helped rebuild New Orleans after Katrina and the BP oil spill — was recently bullied by sordid folks like LeBron James and Black Lives Matter Marxists into apologizing for simply respecting our flag.
Let’s examine James, who is somehow still lauded by languorous media. This displays the mental poverty of our time.
Hyper partisan since donning Obama T-shirts when he was 23, James actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential effort. He then posted anti-Semitic rap lyrics in 2018 — at age 34. The NBA commissioner, who is Jewish, and eagerly gets censorious on many issues, remained silent. (The day before the offensive post, James said “old white men” — who’ve made thousands of black men into millionaires — are akin to slaveholders)
On the topic of money over morals, James is guilty. He could’ve used his platform against Chinese totalitarians abusing human rights last fall in Hong Kong, but balked and inexplicably said free speech is harmful.
His wallet is more important than the safety and well-being of brave protesters or Muslims in Chinese re-education camps. His fans were rightly irate and shouldn’t forget James kowtowed to racist tyrants that lied about releasing a global virus that’s wiped out a half-million people.
Sensing backlash, James sought to “clarify,” and like a coward, played the victim. Sports media members predictably covered for his pusillanimity.
After a basketball general manager expressed support for oppressed, pro-American Hongkongers, James said it’s dangerous. Why? The likelihood of China physically hurting this billionaire dunderhead is zero. The likelihood of China harming innocent Hong Kong protesters and imprisoning a million Muslims is 100 percent.
As Clay Travis articulated in part:
“James is effectively the mouthpiece of a communist dictatorship. He said Daryl Morey was uneducated on this situation. I’m not an expert on Morey but he has a degree in computer science from Northwestern and an MBA from MIT. James graduated from high school. Who do you think is more educated on issues in America and the world?”
Even left-wing commentator Jemele Hill castigated James for his hypocrisy, noting “Freedom of speech isn’t something that should be protected only on a case-by-case basis. It becomes a slippery slope for some people—including James—when it actually requires some sacrifice.”
It can be argued that James, along with his fellow armed security miscreant, Ice Cube, helped initiate the abominable national riots destroying poor communities and tarnishing George Floyd’s memory. Like privileged teenagers, healing efforts amounted to posting #StayWoke on Instagram. James is also uninterested in real stories and allergic to data debunking his mythical views.
The egomaniacal “King,“ who makes a habit of leaving teams for the glamour of Los Angeles or Miami, once concocted a racial incident. You may forget, since the irresponsible media quickly discarded the story once it fell apart.
There was no surveillance video of “racist graffiti” on James’ $20 million L.A. mansion three years ago, yet from 500 miles away, he held a press conference to audaciously compare his situation to Emmett Till’s 1955 lynching. Instead of exposing this sham, pathetic grovelers “sat up and listened closely” to an undereducated athlete lecture America.
Lazy press believed the story, not because James is a panjandrum, but because it confirmed their one-sided worldview. The insular sports media is preconditioned to accept stories about “racism,” which apparently is now a worse public health crisis than coronavirus. The most basic job of a journalist is to determine facts. They fail because they dismiss outside views and prefer to virtue signal.
Sports media types laud their “investigative journalism” but before pontificating about how brave a response is, maybe determine facts? If there was never graffiti, this was a contemptible crime perpetrated by James or an associate.
Like Jussie Smollett’s craven actions last year, or the media’s appalling Covington Catholic coverage, commendation is often heaped upon perfidious victims before hypocrites move on, sans apology. It’s repulsive that James received universal praise for a “hate crime” that probably didn’t occur.
Now James and other uninformed millionaire athletes are forming a “voting rights group”, as if this is 1963 Birmingham. Again, it’s hard to take James seriously after the China debacle where his money trumped human rights. It’ll also be inexcusable for obsequious journalists to interview him about this endeavor and not ask about recent Chinese abuse in Hong Kong.
Since James constantly disrespects the White House, I wonder what Peking James thinks of North Korean or Venezuelan communism. Private gun ownership is banned in both countries, while over 6,000 people are killed annually by “law enforcement” in Venezuela. In the DPRK, I hear Dear Leader likes basketball.
LeBron James can ignore reality and say what he wants. Unlike Chinese authoritarians, the USA allows freedom of speech, but we also have freedom to condemn and expose frauds. Remember, “at times, there are ramifications.” Who said that?
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.