LeBron’s been an idol of mine for years.
For what he does on the court. Leading not only by scoring (Kobe), but by passing, knowing the history of the sport, competing, rising to every occasion.
And, for what he does off the court: he funds a school, hundreds of children’s education. He’ll speak up against Trump, say, when few others do. Called out for having an opinion, he made “shut up and dribble” the name of a documentary he produced, on activist athletes. He’s an advocate for people of color, education, equity and justice.
…But then…he won’t stand up for Hong Kong citizens’ right to justice, right to democracy, infamously caving and claiming ignorance and saying, basically, shhhh, Morey (who spoke up) should shut up and dribble on this one, this is none of our business.
[namely, his and the NBA’s epic profits in China]
We all talk about this freedom of speech. Yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, and you’re only thinking about yourself.
I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke, and so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say, and what we do. Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that too.”
Here’s a quote that seems…relevant.
Rev. MLK, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
And then, again, now, LeBron was one of the last (not the first as befits his status as influencer #1 among his fellow NBA colleagues), to get vaxxed. He’s done so, now, but not without saying “it’s a personal choice, yadayada.”
LeBron James explains his decision to get vaccinated, but wanting to respect others for whether they decide to get it pic.twitter.com/khPH3NePAX
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 28, 2021
Now, I’m no fan of the publicity-starved Stephen A. Smith, but he’s on it on this: “He should be ashamed of himself. LeBron James should be ashamed of himself,” Smith said.
“It was weak, his response to it, it was leaderless. It was inexcusable for him not to provide a better explanation.
Everybody has the right to their own privacy. You don’t want to let people know whether you took the vaccine or not, that is your business. But there is a whole bunch of things that LeBron James has elected to speak up about, that he felt was a detriment to our community, because he wanted to bring attention and a voice to matters. He felt compelled to speak up.
“But on the matter of the vaccine, you’ve got nothing to say all of these months. Nah. It doesn’t work that way. You either want to be out front and centre, bringing a voice to issues, or you don’t.”
Now, I, and many of us, can’t agree that it’s only a personal choice, as it directly affects others in the same way that, say, drunk driving is a personal choice.
So now, perhaps, the balance tips, and it’s time to find another court hero. Perhaps Steph, who stands up for voting, or perhaps it’s time to tune into the WNBA, which has always been more active, with less love to show for it.