Just a few years ago Fox News windbag Laura Ingraham told Lebron James to “shut up and dribble” after Lebron showed support for unconvicted criminal and part-time politician Hilary Clinton at a rally.
James had drawn the ire of the right side of the political spectrum when he was critical ,albeit generic and often meandering ,of then President Donald Trump. Many of their leading talking heads , both online and offline, from that point of view took boundless pleasure in flouting the NBA superstar for having the temerity to speak on something that did not involve pick and rolls or slam dunks.
Now James is once again under fire, this time from the more left-leaning CNN. In a recent segment on NBA vaccination that took shots at Kyrie Irving with a “reporter” who was decked out in “can I see your manger” regalia, brings on Enes Kanter for some mystifying reason. The Turkish big man said he didn’t support a vaccination mandate for the League, but for some reason, Karen the journalist decided to inject Lebron James into conversation. She raised his recently disclosed vaccination status and should James use his status to try to convince ( i.e. pressure) non- vaccinated players to get the jab. This “reporter” added that Lebron has “ a responsibility” to influence his fellow NBA’ers but also the black community to the get the shot because they “have been disproportionately affected by this virus”. The daftness to think that Enes Kanter was the person to pose this farcical inquiry is only outweighed by the unmitigated nerve of Kanter to believe he was in a place to render an answer on the subject.
This is just the latest the media and people outside of the black community thinking they can stand in the position to dictate to said community what they need to do, something that would never be done as it relates to any other group. There won’t ever be a time in which you will see black athlete “X” question about what the Asian , gay or Jewish communities need to do about a given issue and certainly not what someone from any of those communities has a responsibility to do as it relates to their group.
If some reporter for a news entity possessed enough contempt to ask that question in if an athlete were foolhardy enough to answer that question I can assure you that segment would be paused before they came back from commercial break and people would be fine and careers would be ended. The reason is that you never see the media disrespect the aforementioned groups is , unfortunately unlike black people, they are on code “culturally” and most importantly, economically, to be able to check and then have a punishment mechanism to enact on those that get out pocket with them.
For a great majority of his exemplary basketball career, Lebron James has been a media darling, particularly on the left, with the exception of conservatives and Skip Bayless. The media, particularly the sports media has carried Lebron’s water for the better part of decades. They have largely glossed over his shortcomings, while magnifying his achievements , even ridiculously trying to liken him to a modern day Muhammad Ali, and have turned tearing down other great players to build up Lebron into a twisted art. Taking all of that into account, it makes seeing now fast media turned on James the second he did not do or say as they thought he should is simultaneously telling and fascinating. It is but another example of the media not being an informative instrument , but rather one that shapes narratives and has no issue with using people as means, willingly or unknowingly to achieve their ends.