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Ex-Players Take Exception to Jason Whitlock Saying LeBron is 'Not Smart'

LeBron James: “Because no matter how much money you got, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, at the end of the day being a Black man in America is very frightening, and it lets us know that we got so much further to go to be equal in this country.”

Jason Whitlock referencing that 2017 interview: “LeBron James is not smart. He’s a basketball player. He’s reveling in pretending to be a victim. He hasn’t been a victim at any point in his lifetime. But LeBron, like a lot of Black people, thinks that you can’t be Black unless you’re a victim, so he likes to play the role of victim, and likes to talk about ‘OHHHHH! HOW HARD IT IS IN AMERICA FOR LEBRON JAMES AND BLACK FOLKS!’… Gimme a break… LeBron James is worshiped and he’s an idol. Any time anybody criticizes LeBron James it’s like ‘HOW DARE YOU! DON’T YOU KNOW LEBRON IS SUPER RICH!? DON’T YOU KNOW HE SPENT MONEY ON A SCHOOL IN AKRON!? DON’T YOU KNOW LEBRON IS THE MOST PERFECT ATHLETE WE HAVE!? YOU’RE A SELLOUT OR YOU’RE A RACIST IF YOU CRITICIZE LEBRON JAMES!’ I just don't buy that. That’s idolatry. Everybody, including me, is worthy of pushback and criticism if they’re going to make harsh generalizations and accusations about people, and about America. If you step out there with an opinion you’re going to get pushback. We have been so immersed in this racial idolatry, and this idolatry of whoever has the most money, and it doesn’t matter by what means. If you’ve made a bunch of money being a rapper, or a drug dealer turned rapper like Jay-Z, Birdman, or whatever, you’re worthy of being an idol and nobody can question you, and if they do you’re a ‘racist’ or you’re a ‘sellout.’ This is idolatry and idolatry is dangerous. If you’re going to step out there and make all these sweeping generalizations about ‘how hard it is to be Black in America’, and how much oppression you face, you’re going to get some pushback, particularly when it’s just not true. We love to pretend that the only ‘privilege’ is White. There is tremendous ‘athletic privilege’ in this society. Years ago I experienced this with just a tiny amount of athletic ability. I got a scholarship to a mid-major Division-1 university because I could play football, not because of what I could do academically in high school. This society is set up to privileged athletes. When you show the types of physical gifts at birth that LeBron James started showing at age 5, 6, 7, 8 years old, all that privilege comes raining down on you. There’s this myth that ‘GOSH, FROM BIRTH TO 17 YEARS OLD HE FACED SO MUCH TRAUMA, SO MANY OBSTACLES!’… That’s not how it works. Trust me, by nine or ten years old people had identified LeBron James as an athletic freak talent who was going to play in a professional sports league, and people started rushing to support him and make sure he got to the finish line so they could all benefit financially from LeBron’s success. He’s lived a life of privilege from about 9 or 10 years old. I grew up poor but I was still experienced privilege because I was a very good athlete and captained my football team to a state championship, and national ranking, and then I got a football scholarship on top of it, despite being an average student. If I had LeBron’s athletic ability I wouldn't have to go to class, and based on everything I hear from LeBron, he didn’t. He pretends to read books; he doesn’t. He can’t put sentences together well. The man compared himself to Emmett Till’s mama when someone ‘allegedly’, without proof, spray-painted a racial slur on the gate of his multi-million dollar mansion in Brentwood, California, and I’m supposed to pretend LeBron James is smart? HE COMPARED HIMSELF TO EMMETT TILL’S MAMA. HER 14-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS MURDERED BRUTALLY IN 1955 and LeBron is sitting there going ‘yeah, when I got my gate spray painted, it made me think of Emmett Till’s Mama’… and I have to sit here and pretend he’s smart? LeBron is a great basketball player. Celebrate him for that. All of this other stuff is nonsense. Our society, especially Black people, keep placing tall athletic people in front of us and saying ‘there is your idol, follow his lead, he’s your intellectual leader.’ I reject that.” (Full Segment Above)

Watch Jason Whitlock of ‘Fearless’ discuss a recent video he posted on his Instagram that drew the ire of two former NFL players, as both individuals called out Whitlock for a portion of the video where he mocked a 2017 interview LeBron James did where he claimed ‘being a Black man in America is very frightening.’

Check out the segment above as Whitlock discusses the animated direct message he got from one of the former players, and even has the other player onto the show to break down Whitlock’s negative opinion on LeBron.

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