Monday, July 12, 2010

LeBron as a "Runaway Slave"?

Often when Rev. Jesse Jackson makes a public statement it simply seems like he has an axe to grind, but his thoughts on LeBron James have me intrigued. In the wake of James' decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat, the owner of the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, lashed out at LeBron verbally, calling his decision "cowardly" and saying that everyone was finally seeing "who he really is." I was shocked when I heard Gilbert's words as he was incredibly mean and judgmental of LeBron for his decision.

Rev. Jackson has an interesting take on Gilbert's reaction. He says that Gilbert's words were "mean, arrogant, and presumptuous" and that he is treating LeBron like a "runaway slave."
"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract." - Rev. Jesse Jackson
While I have not given theses words ample time to soak in, I think I initially agree with Jackson. We suffer from a high sense of entitlement here in America, and I feel like this is what is happening here. LeBron was a free agent and had faithfully fulfilled his duties as a Cavaliers employee, so I don't see why he wouldn't be free to make whatever decision he wants. For some reason, though, Gilbert thinks that LeBron owes him some sort of extended loyalty, even though Gilbert recently fired his general manager and head coach. Where is his loyalty?

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