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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  96 responses

LeBron James Not Afraid to Make Political Statements


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Michael Jordan remained largely apolitical throughout his NBA career, as he felt this was the best way to protect his business interests off the court. Jordan became infamous when he uttered the line, “Republicans buy shoes, too.”

Unlike MJ, LeBron James has no issue with making his political stance widely known — LBJ has once again put his support behind President Barack Obama, and says that he faced some pushback for being so open about who he voted for.

From Fox Sports:

The Miami Heat star makes many millions off his endorsement deals, including one with Nike. But there’s one other particular endorsement he isn’t shy about making news with, regardless of its negative impact on those deals — he’s once again voting for Barack Obama for President. “I’ve been second guessed,” James said. “They’re saying it’s bad for the brand. If I feel like I want to support someone, then go for it.”

James said he carefully researched Obama before he voted for the Democrat in 2008. He’s done that again this time. “No,” James said about not being afraid as an athlete to take a stand. “I just think it’s about knowledge if you know what’s going on. I’ve always said I feel like it’s important for me to do it because that’s just who I am. I got out there and I learned a lot about it in ’08 and I learned a lot about it now.”

Many other NBA players clearly feel the same way that LeBron does, and they haven’t shied away from chiming in (and supporting candidates) during this election year, especially in the digital realm.

LeBron James and his counterparts have a large platform from which to speak, and they’ve elected to make their voices heard. One gets the sense that this is a step in the right direction.

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  • http://twitter.com/KingofKushSmoke PimpMaster of yo Hoe

    This is part of the reason why Obama won. His supporters actually have faces and dont just hide behind negative television commercials out of fear the consuming public will not purchase their product/service because of their personal political views.

  • Buckets

    Did anyone really think Obama wouldn’t win?? Come on, Romney had no chance. Generally speaking, the Republican party is for rich white folks. The majority of citizens (like any other country) aren’t rich.

  • Buckets

    Why should he be afraid? We have political freedom in this country…

  • Max

    Spencers Hawes agrees.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    I’m curious to see how the next election goes and how “involved” all of these guys will be when Obama isn’t running.

  • shockexchange

    With all his new friends off the court – Warren Buffett, Obama, JayZ, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer – has King James lost his focus on it? http://clicky.me/7Jk6

  • Redd

    As well he should be. I voted for Obama but hesitantly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rig.veda.94 Rig Veda

    are you saying Republican party is not for rich nba folks?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    Lets be honest..both candidates were pretty bad choices

  • obama2012

    F*ck Spencer Hawes and his vote for Mitt tweet. The REAL person won last night. Not the fake.

  • Dagger

    “New friends” . . . hilarious.

  • Max

    How the F do you come up with these things? lol

  • ratguts

    Karl Malone, nuff said.

  • spit hot fiyah

    Lets be even more honest, it is pretty bad to only have two choices

  • SWIFTboy

    I’m not against atheletes voicing their opinion on issues, whether I agree with that opinion or not, as long as they are educated and well informed. Since all he did was support a candidate, he was not required to display any knowledge.

    Since he didn’t pursue any post-secondary education, and admitted he only attempted to educate himself leading up to both elections, I have a feeling he’s only aware of the surface issues. So if he’s only going to regurgitate soundbytes, I’d also suggest he sticks to what he knows.

    Then again, he might be reading Chomsky, Huxley, and Tolstoy in his free time and show me what’s what.

  • Max

    Lol that’s whats up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    well that’s one part of America that I don’t think will change for quite sometime if at all

  • patrick

    How bout a 3rd party in 2016?

  • ash

    There are other caniddates on the ballot for president. Larry king was the moderator for the debate that was streaming online. People will have to do research

  • Omar

    He shouldn’t be. He’s a man and should be able to voice his opinion as such.

  • bike

    Let’s face it, who in their right mind would want to be president. Work on your game, become a nba star, and you will make way more money than the Commander and Chief plus have a lot fewer headaches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    LMFAO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    Ridiculous. Democracy, lmao.

  • tommyboy

    Get the hell out of here Ralph Nader !

  • http://twitter.com/bjollz Björn Atli Davíðsson

    Naw man. He’s reading Hunger Games.

  • tommyboy

    Who is Spencer Hawes?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    ahhhhh stinger lol

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    why lie, i didn’t vote for any of these cats

  • lososway

    anyone who “knows what’s going on” and values human life wouldn’t vote for either of those ass clowns.

  • Comment_System

    If Corey Booker runs, you know they will be.

  • Comment_System

    To answer your question, yes. Republicans.

  • Comment_System

    There are other parties, but it isn’t in the best interest to have more than two (the only that CAN change is which two). I personally liked gary johnson, and if it was between him and obama, my vote would have been much tougher to make.

  • Comment_System

    This is a great and kind way to say “HA!, like im going to listen to what a high school graduate says about politics”

  • Comment_System
  • Canesta

    You clearly don’t know much about politics. You don’t have any basis for such comments about “rich white folks”. Give one explanation that backs up that statement. Yea, you can’t…

  • danpowers

    thats stupid so you actually supported the bigger evil (republicans).

  • danpowers

    but its a valid point, republicans only benefit wealthy people and the big majority of wealthy people in the usa are white

  • danpowers

    the problem is that broad population groups such as rednecks or white trash in general are poor or just not educated. so they believe the republicans lies about their policy and paradoxly vote for the party that harms them the most.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    hell no, i didn’t. I’m a democrat. i didn’t care to vote this year, so why lie..

  • danpowers

    yup and by this you automatically weaken the democrats

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    brother please, keep your opinions to yourself. people like yourself make talking politics a SCANDAL. ruffling your feathers like a b!tch

  • Canesta

    danpowers, you forgot to mention the part about poor blacks who believe the democrats lies about policy. It’s such a shame that so many believe that the democrats want to “help” the poor. democrats want to take make them even more dependent on the government, which only hurts them! And republicans only benefit wealth people? really? that’s simply not true. republicans benefit the business owners, all and large, all of which are the people who pay you and me to work!

  • charliewinning

    I guess not every player wants to be like Mike. Good for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HolyBaller Dillan Leu

    And ghetto democrats who have no clue about politics don’t vote? Please. Stop with your obvious bias.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1235696147 Tony Ojo-Ade

    President Obama won like I predicted it 4 years ago. Now, haters & bigots what you gonna do or say? There you go folks. Lebron said it in a few words. “Knowledge is power” He made the right choice after learning and researching what’s going on. That is why he is the reigning king on the basketball court today. God bless you my brother.

  • Guest

    People like you should never complain about bad government because you are don’t exist. don’t you know that your vote is your voice and you make a difference with that single vote? When you fail to cast you vote, you are not only dead human being; your failure will affect your family members; you children. My advice to you, aways make your vote count because that is your voice for you children, your community and your country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1235696147 Tony Ojo-Ade

    People like you should never complain about bad government because you don’t exist. Don’t you know that your vote is your voice and you make a difference with that single vote? When you fail to cast your vote, you are not only a dead human being; your failure will affect your family members even your children. My advice to you, always make your vote count because that is your voice for your children, your community and your country.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    save the sermon

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    save the sermon my man

  • charliewinning

    Are you implying they’re only voting for him because he’s black?

  • Dagger

    Somehow I don’t think people seek the presidency for the money. There are other things in life than attaining money and avoiding problems.

  • Lorne

    Right, because if he were a woman it would be different…jerk.

  • Dagger

    What exactly did you expect with your original post? That people would give you a little pat on the back for pissing away the one right millions have fought and died for? SMH

  • danpowers

    thats no oppinion just stating the facts. people who dont elect strenghten the opposing parties. the reps have the majority in the house of representatives again and are strong enough to block policy changes that democrats could do for the better of the country and even the world. not a big deal to state that so plz get the insulting out of here n keep that for face to face convos

  • danpowers

    amen

  • danpowers

    “that’s simply not true. republicans benefit the business owners, all and
    large, all of which are the people who pay you and me to work!”
    that is the essence of neoliberal business philosophy. the problem is just that it only works in theory like e.g. communism. practically it only leads to increasing exploitation and suppression of labour force. there is no example in the history of mankind that proved the opposit. markets only work reasonable and socially responsible when regulations force em to

  • charliewinning

    Truth

  • danpowers

    they do. its just coincidence that they elect the “right” thing. but still: in the long run voting for a party that improves educational systems in these “ghetto” areas as you call it, will also improve their ability to found a political oppinion based on facts

  • Durantforprez

    @danpowers i noticed you germans have always had a thing for socialists….
    and the cia found bin laden. his 2nd in command gave him away on purpose by using a courier who was known to the FBI

  • pavol

    lets face it: if color wasnt involved, hardly any of these players would pay this much attention to the elections

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    aye, land of the free right? you mothasuckas can’t even let my opinion & choices be MY opinion and choices. all you big girls here getting your feathers ruffled. its a shame

  • The Seed

    who cares, these dudes only voted because he was black. Next year when a white democrat runs, lets see them talk all this talk and walk the walk.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    your a cool dude, who’s opinions of basketball i respect. but when it comes to my opinions, let it be. the system doesn’t help everyone. you not even in america. you see whats going on from your computer in germany. your on the outside looking in. i represent my family and community. unless you see what i see going on my neck of the woods. take a backseat and don’t judge. thanks bruh

  • danpowers

    dude i studied atlantic studies n approaching topics from a scientific standpoint has nothing to do with where you live. what i said is a statement about democracy in general and no oppinion. like 1+1=2. who doesnt vote automatically supports the “bigger evil” even if just indirectly.

  • danpowers

    im from west germany, not east germany. over here we had a social market economy. that was an almost perfect system (at least for a wealthy nation that utilizes this system) with the best aspects of capitalism and socialism combined.
    and please dont mistake social responsibility for socialism, thats nonsense. acting reasonable and installing social justice into a system has nothing to do with socialism and can and should be used additionally to an economy.

  • Kevin

    You’re an uninformed moron who clearly demonstrates that basketball isn’t the only area in which you know nothing. Your stupid little theory must be the reason Herman Cain’s dumb ass is watching from the sidelines like everyone else. Take your racist bullshit elsewhere, clown.

  • aicomeback

    democracy is the dictatorship of the 51%

  • pposse

    and why is it not in the best interest to have more than two candidates?

  • pposse

    a single vote does not make a difference, that is BS.

  • Redd

    True it was hard voting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.callihan1 Chris Callihan

    True, but unfortunately we only have 2 real choices.

  • Gloria

    So the Democratic party is for rich black folks?

  • Gloria

    I agree. An increase of 14 million people are on food stamps since Obama became President. Record breaking data. Who do you think the 14 million voted for? Obama knew exactly how to get the votes.

  • Dagger

    You’re free to have your ridiculous opinion, and we’re free to criticize it.

  • The Juan Percent

    180,000 american born latinos turn 18 each month. These are kids who grew up hearing Republicans disrespect their parents and refuse to accept them as americans. These young men and women are VOTING for the respect for the hard work their parents put in to provide them the neccesities to have a secure upbringing and supporting the Democratic party in droves. To think we’ll see another Republican president in our lifetimes is just being totally indifferent to reality!

  • lososway

    there were 2 real and better choices on the ballot, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

  • Slick Ric

    Even if that’s what he’s implying. Barack is the first president with a direct black background…geesh. Why are people so mad or offended they’re supporting him?

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING ELECTION. NOTHING CHANGED. THE REST OF THE WORLD IS OVER IT. SHUT THE HELL UP

  • EP

    I couldn’t agree more. The difference between Romney’s political agenda and Obama’s is like the difference between Coke and Pepsi. There really isn’t any difference.

  • EP

    Double truth.

  • EP

    I live in France and, for national elections, there are at least 10 political parties to vote for. The US is completely dominated by 2 political parties that both have their campaigns completely funded by huge corporations. And when they get into office, they work for the interestes of those corporations. It’s 100% business and voters are just background noise in the whole thing.

  • danpowers

    m o r o n

  • jeiko

    yup!.accept it or not that’s the main reason,,He is black..

  • Omar

    Are you done stretching? Go workout on the elliptical now…lady.

  • JackPackage

    He carefully researched Obama = He saw he was cool, black and co-signed by Jay-Z.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carissa.briscoe.3 Carissa Briscoe

    Why Cant We all Just get Along…and get over it..the demographic of this country has changed, next we will have a Woman president,a Hispanic President, etc.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    Yes and no… Yes because him being black most likely raised the political awareness of guys like Lebron James… No because after their awareness was raised by Obama, they actually paid attention to the things he stands for and made their decisions based on that. I’d also think no because its possible some athletes, entertainers, etc, were already democratic supporters prior to Obama being elected.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    Not sure if you were directing this at me Slick Ric, but I’m not mad or offended people are supporting him at all. I’m actually black and I can honestly say when he became the democratic nominee for President, him being black raised my political awareness. I’m sure that happened for a lot of people, which is why I thought how interesting the next election will be without Obama.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    LOL

  • knowledgeking

    Sorry Charlie, however, Mike has supported President Obama since 2004, when Obama first ran for the U.S. Senate. He also supported him by raising funds for Obama in 2008, when Magic Johnson was supporting and endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary. Further, in August 2012, Mike held a $ 3 Million fundraiser for President Obama in New York. Moreover, Mike has supported Democratic candidates in the past. For instance, in 2000 he raised funds and publically endorsed former NBA Great and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley for President. Stop buying the anti-media hype against MJ. Obama stated himself that Mike has been one of his strongest supporters, however, the media will continue to spin a false lie that MJ said “republicans buy shoes too”. It’s funny how the media will never cite that source, because it is lie and falsehood.

  • knowledgeking2012

    Dear Brother Marcel,

    you may need to do some updated research on Brother Mike. For example, Mike
    has financially and publically supported President Obama since 2004, when Obama
    first ran for the U.S. Senate. Moreover, in 2008 Brother Mike endorsed Obama
    for President during the Democratic Primary, while Brother Magic Johnson
    endorsed Hillary Clinton. Further, in August 2012, Brother Mike held a $
    3 Million Dollar fundraiser for President Obama in New York. In addition,
    Brother Mike financially and publically endorsed former NBA Great and
    Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Bradley for President during the 2000 Democratic
    Primary. Further, the 2012 Presidential Election Campaign was the most
    expensive in history, thus, it takes more than tweets to win a presidential race,
    it takes cash and Brother Mike has always financially supported President
    Obama.

    Brother Mike may not “speak out” or issue a press release every
    time he donates funds to charity or tweet his support of the latest hot button
    issue, but the Brother has historically donated how own funds and given back to the
    community. However, I am fully aware that many in the media continue to spin
    and lie that Brother Mike is a sellout and does not support the black
    community. Many seem to forget or ignore that Brother Mike personally,
    financially and publically supported Spike Lee’s classic film “Malcolm
    X” in 1992. Brother Mike famously wore the “X” baseball cap and
    made it popular in the community and raised awareness and funds for the movie.
    Brother Mike donated his own money to the film, when it went over budget and
    Hollywood refused to continue financing the film. Moreover, Brother Mike suffered
    a backlash for wearing the “X” cap and publically supporting the at the time controversial
    film, because many white media writers felt Malcolm X was anti-Semitic and Spike Lee was racist. However, Brother Mike continued to support the film. Although,
    so-called liberal Hollywood snubbed the film during the Oscars and many movie theaters
    refused to show the film.

    Lastly, you claim Brother Mike uttered the line “Republicans buy shoes
    too,” however, you failed to city a source, because it is untrue and an
    urban myth. Further, Brother Mike is still selling shoes as his “Jordan
    Brand” is a billion dollar business; however, apparently he is not worried
    that republicans buy shoes, because he financially and publically supported
    President Obama. Hopefully, you do know Brother Mike played a large role in the
    Democratic Convention held in Charlotte and in his team’s arena, and the $
    3 Million Dollar fundraiser for the President in NYC…or maybe you just forget
    to inform your readers so they could continue to buy into the false media hype
    and claim that Brother Mike is a sellout, because he does not give interviews
    to certain writers and hosts.

  • charliewinning

    You are uninformed. Alan Keyes once ran for president and look how that turned out. Maybe you’re too young to know that or remember it, but you’re off base. If you had been stating that he was a democrat, and that’s primarily the reason they support him I’d take your point as valid. As it stands, you’re wrong. (Herman Cain commanded little no no support from players this election to further my point).

  • charliewinning

    Yet Mike never denied that he said the it. Sorry, but his silence on the issue speaks louder than your advocacy. Mike can still kiss my ass. I don’t care which candidate he supports.

  • charliewinning

    Go read a little. Knowledge goes a long way when you want to discuss a topic.

  • charliewinning

    Because it implies that black voter are uninformed on issues, and that they vote on race rather than substance. If you can’t see why people take offense to that suggestion then you may have a bit of ignorance to get out of your system.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    I was young when Keyes ran in 96 and 2000, but from what I know, Keyes didnt have the presence, resources, or following Barack Obama had prior to running. Again, I was young so could be wrong… With Obama, I feel like he has a presence that demands attention. I dont think its wrong to think as he became more of a household name in his quest for presidency, that a lot of these guys became more intrigued. Not saying they voted for him because he was black, but they became more intrigued because of it. They could have voted based on their political preference or where they stand regarding key issues. All I’m saying is I wonder how many people come to the forefront when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

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