Why Do White People Still Dislike LeBron James? Probably Because He Plays in Miami

Categories: Sports

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Even as LeBron James stands just four wins away from his third NBA championship, his popularity among the American sports populace has still not returned to what it was when he was a ringless superstar toiling away in Cleveland.

ESPN tracks scientific poll numbers each year for which NBA players fans consider their singular favorite. LeBron's popularity plummeted after "the Decision." It wasn't until after last season when once again became the favorite of the plurality of NBA fans, overtaking Kobe Bryant. His popularity still isn't quite what it was during his 2009-10 season with Cleveland, though. Here's the odd thing: James is more popular among black and Hispanic fans than he ever was in Cleveland. It's only white fans who still haven't fully re-embraced him.

"The reluctance of white fans to embrace LeBron again is the principle reason his overall popularity lags behind what it was with the Cavs," writes ESPN. "It's easy to come up with theories on why this is so, and harder to prove those theories. Other demographics have been far more forgiving, though."

Well, we have one theory we'll try to make a case for and it has less to do with LeBron's race as it does the racial makeup of the city he chose to play for it. We'll go ahead and say it: White people don't like Miami... or at least our sports teams.

Think about it. If LeBron had left Cleveland for any other city, could you imagine the backlash being quite as strong? Admit it, if he was now in a Bulls, Knicks or Celtics jersey he'd be back to full-on national hero status. It wasn't just that LeBron left Cleveland, it was that he left for this weird city most Americans only know from the most stereotypical depictions in movies and on TV.

LeBron set the stage himself by declaring that he was taking his talents to South Beach. Nevermind that the Heat don't play on South Beach. Nevermind that it's just a tiny neighborhood in a giant metropolitan area. Nevermind that equating all of Miami to South Beach is like equating all of New York City to Times Square.

In most Americans' minds Miami is full of neon lights, fancy Art Deco hotels and women with fake butts. They can't comprehend how it's actually a city full of mainly working class people, more than a few of whom came here after escaping oppressive governments to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Think back to that original backlash. People said Miami didn't deserve this team. Never mind the fact that the Miami Heat's attendance records have generally been better and more stable than the Cleveland Cavaliers. People said Miami was a "football town," as if we only deserved good football teams. Remember how many of them loved the 1980s Miami Hurricanes teams. Hmm? People still attack the fans here to this day (something we've tried to reason with them on).

Discussing race on the Internet is a tricky thing. So before we get into it, let's make a few things clear: 1) In this article "white" means non-Hispanic white, which is an icky thing we try to avoid because it infers that Hispanic people can't be white, but those are the standards used in ESPN's poll 2) If you couldn't tell by the byline, I am white. Very white. 3) The first part of this is going to read like I'm making excuses for white people. The later parts are going to read like I'm a race traitor. Prepare for that. Alright, now that that's out of the way ...


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68 comments
joesmashthem
joesmashthem

this is all a new york made up thing becausee lebron stiffed new your when he decided to go to miami, go look it up the right before the decision the new your press said lebron was the greatest player ever then when he went to miami the next day they just trashed him and continue to trash him now.  watch and see if lebron ever does go to new york and watch how he is perceived playing for the knick or the nets.

outroducin
outroducin

What a pathetic race baiting article. New Miami times needs a house cleaning of all it's writers.

Cali_Care
Cali_Care

That's interesting - because I was one of those guys until LBJ came to Miami.  I am not a Heat fan so this was not just fair weather love.  I just watched him more than before and I began respect his team leadership and skills.  I wish he was more consistent but that's the way the ball bounces/

Simone Corrado
Simone Corrado

I have never heard one " WHITE PERSON" say that. Wow. Anything to stir up the masses to make people go against each other. And to the person up there at the top, I really don't think white people hate on Black people because he has or they have. Damn. There goes that card again. 3 times today. DID ANYONE STOP TO THINK THAT THE DAMN MEDIA IS TURNING PEOPLE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER ?! FUCK PREJUDICE PEOPLE AND FUCK THE MEDIA

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Well, let's see , I just backed up LeBron, insulted Cleveland, dissed Charles Barkley.....Is there anybody else I need to step to? Anybody wanna come up and play? Bring it. :)

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

HUH? I'm lost here!, we LOVE!!!!! LeBron, if Cleveland doesn't like him? too fucking bad. ( if I had LeBron's talent I wouldn't play in your nowhere town either, matter of fact, I don't think much of it to begin with and try to avoid visiting if I can . If Charles Barkley doesn't like him? Let's remind Charles he never WAS 1/3 the player LeBron is. WTF is this about? Oh and BTW, I'm not that white, but this is BS! LeBron? we got ur back man.

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

Let's see.... Could it be that he's a black man making tons of money..... No I don't thing do either.

Sharon Wilson Dass
Sharon Wilson Dass

Get over it people. He's living HIS life HIS way. Move on with YOUR life.

Michelle Rubio
Michelle Rubio

Oooomg bla bla fuckin BLAAAAAH!!! That man left for a better opportunity and a well deserves championship ring and for what ever was in his best interest for his talents. I mean it's all a business an THEY (the players) are putting everything out there on that court. Criticize the journalism all you want but the fact of the matter is that Lenron made a career move that has clearly benefitted him and the community he impacts and next year when homeboy becomes a free agent we will know where loyalties lie.

Steve Attaway
Steve Attaway

Now that sounds like something stupid that Campbell would say lol!!

Kimberly Martin Arauz
Kimberly Martin Arauz

Racist article in its self. I live in Miami and I'm white I don't have an issue with labron. No state is all one race anymore ppl... change your old way of thinking, keep up. It's not white ppl who have a problem it's his old fans who know they lost the best current player in the NBA.

Rey Delapaz
Rey Delapaz

Lmao Joe Whitacre Adam Straka Daniel Ahye Cameron Purton

Dicky Bobby Perez
Dicky Bobby Perez

yet it was aired on ESPN, prob had the biggest tv rating on a night that had nothing better going for itself, and it donated money to the B&G club.

mmortal03
mmortal03

"If a band is on tour with stops in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa they'll go to the Fort Lauderdale stop. If they stop in Miami and Tampa, then they'll take the farther trip to Tampa. "

If there really is a majority of white people who live in Naples who will drive an extra 40 minutes up to Tampa for a concert just to avoid going to Miami, well, then, my condolences to Naples.

Gia Gucci
Gia Gucci

That was the dumbest article I've read. Racism at it's best.

Renee Farnum
Renee Farnum

Whom ever wrote this article is an absolute racist idiot !!!!

Marc Martinez
Marc Martinez

It's e hairline. Listen Lebron is trying to reach an unreachable status. It goes beyond the ring and endorsements. He wants to be a role model, wants to be considered an intellectual ect when in reality the best he could ever achieve is a great player. Why? Because MJ was all those things. MJ never was covered in tats he got a DEGREE went to college and tats why more than any reason so many kids and parents alike from all walks of life not just white because I'm a Hispanic and would rather have MJ as a role model before LBJ every time. Oh and MJ was perfection on the court 6 for 6 in finals as well as MVP and this is coming from a Knicks fan. Never a MJ fan on the court be a great role model. Not a perfect man but a good example to follow

Nick Potts
Nick Potts

Pure ignorance right there. Thank you for that Pedro.

Pedro DaGeneral Velez
Pedro DaGeneral Velez

A black man made his decision to leave a white city, a city who has an slave mentality.

Kim Siv
Kim Siv

didn't know only white people lived in Cleveland........ Stupid article!!!

JP Rodriguez
JP Rodriguez

Could Lebrons loss of favoritism be the fact that Durant is such a liked player? 5 years ago Lebron was competeing with Kobe as the NBAs favorite/best player. Kobe is not as likeable as Kobe in my opinion.

Ivete Mendoza
Ivete Mendoza

What? Well ESPN must be full a shit... And its King James ... Get it right!

Loretta Menth
Loretta Menth

GO SPURS GO AND PUT HEAT ON FIRE BURN THEM OUT GSG

Jorge Rojas
Jorge Rojas

I really don't think he cares love him he's a champ and a real pro

Kenia West
Kenia West

Who cares, not like lebron cares. Hes loling all the way to the bank.. besides all them games are rigged.

Derrick Lang
Derrick Lang

As a white person I can say... most white people do not care about Lebron. We're too busy keeping the others down and eating mayonnaise. What a dumb story this is.

Chris Ortiz
Chris Ortiz

Chris prout you don't know shit with your ignorant post. What you do need to do though is sit on spur while it spins..GO HEAT!!!

Brett Bigenho
Brett Bigenho

The notion that "white people" dislike lebron James is horse shit. The Tea Party hates Obama.. You wouldn't say "white people hate Obama." It's ignorant people who already had their mind made up.

Steven Bates
Steven Bates

I am white and I love Lebron and the Miami Heat

Jenny Fernandez Luis Cabello
Jenny Fernandez Luis Cabello

1. Lebron could care less what you, me, or anyone thinks. 2. Those that dislike him were probably praying he would go to their team. 3. I hope that those people who are still judging him based on what they feel was a poor decision, have never made a mistake in their lives.

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Sara Mays See the stuff us Heat fans gotta deal with?

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Why do people talk so much sh*t? Who the FAQ, cares what white people think about LeBron???

Jay Roberts
Jay Roberts

Cleveland is the dirtiest city in the world I'm glad LBJ went to Miami..... I WOULD

esco1782
esco1782

Times are different. He had the skill to jump to the pros. Fuck that going to college bullshit so they can pretend to give an education while gettin gn millions of dollars of his talent. Second so what tats. Third MJ had a fellow all NBA all time 50 top player by his side. Never won anything before that. Lebron carries his team on his back MJ's had his. Do u even remember what it took for Cleveland to land in the finals? Do u? He had to score 29 of their last 30 in a double ot. Then they got exposed by a real championship caliber team. Fuck off Knicks fan

esco1782
esco1782

Yeah because Dan Gilbert didn't expose his slave mentality with that comic sans letter released after the desicion? U too sir fuck off

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