Initially, when I heard Lebron James the CNN program 'Rick's List' on Wednesday night say that he felt like race played a role in his negative feedback from his “decision” I totally disagreed with him.
It couldn’t be race. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley all disagreed with his decision to join the Miami Heat. Race wasn’t a factor, the factor was that he essentially taunted everyone by dangling his decision in everyone’s face on a national telecast and snatching away hopes and dreams and dismantling economies in several cities, particularliy Cleveland.
Yes, he has the right to choose where he wants to work. Yes, he can make his decision in whatever form he chooses, but did he really think everyone would just be cool with it and let it slide? As I’m writing this, I think to myself about John Elway, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning.
Both Elway and Eli forced draft day trades because they refused to play for the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers respectively. Did they face detractors and significant backlash, sure, but not to the level of Lebron. And you can’t help but wonder, what if Peyton Manning had done the exact same thing as Lebron before he eventually won his lone Super Bowl Championship in 2006.