October 20, 2010
When LeBron James(notes) answered last month that race had a role in the overwhelming negative reaction to "The Decision," I didn't get too upset. It wasn't the reason (Maverick Carter's idiotic machinations were), but it was part of the reason. Any time an African-American does anything more complicated than look both ways before crossing the street -- even in 2010 -- some racist moron will find a way to disagree with it based on their own sickening brand of hatred. It's just an inescapable, continually unfortunate burden that minorities of all types will forever have to live through.
So I can understand why LeBron recently started re-Tweeting some of the more offensive Tweets he takes in.
To illustrate that sometimes unpleasant interaction, James took the unusual step of re-tweeting some hateful Twitter messages to his 900,000 followers on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Miami Heat star said he did it to show people what he deals with on a daily basis.
I can understand it. I know LeBron doesn't have to go too far back on his TweetDeck to find these nasty messages, because I'm sure he piles them up by the dozens if not hundreds, daily. And I'm not solely referring to the negative ones. I'm talking about just the racist ones. Those freaks walk among us.
What I do take issue with is Brian's assertion, no doubt taken from LeBron's own description, that James "deals" with this on a "daily basis." There's racism everywhere, and people are morons. But LeBron doesn't have to deal with this on a daily basis. At all.
He doesn't have to open up that TweetDeck. He doesn't have to have a Twitter account at all. He doesn't have to visit the message boards, or comment sections, and he doesn't have to observe any sort of un-moderated community that would lead to these sorts of nasty, distressing comments.
Because racists are cowardly and often overcompensating for their own shortcomings -- both intellectually and physically -- these idiots won't be bothering to mess with LeBron to his face. So why does James enter into a forum where these pathetic excuses for human beings can't deal with him face to face?
Would it be nice for him to be able to have a nice Twitter back and forth, like the rest of us? Sure, but it'd also be nice for him to walk into a movie theater without getting mobbed. It is, unfortunately, the price you pay for fame.
So while I appreciate the insight in what he has to slog through every day, understand that it's his choice to slog through it, and nobody else's. I don't read the comment sections on this website, and I don't take a second look at the sometimes-daily Tweets I get from morons who might (all at once) confuse my gender, sexuality and the amount of effort I put into my job.
That's my choice, I'm pretty happy with it, and I think James would be happy with it too. Now that we've gleaned a little insight into what he has to deal with, perhaps it is time for James to glean a little insight from others on what he does and doesn't have to deal with.