If you haven’t been watching HBO’s “The Shop” you’re missing out.
Not only does it provide us with some tremendous insight into the minds of some of our favorite athletes and entertainers in a casual barbershop setting, but the candid nature of their conversations means we get sound bites we otherwise would never hear.
And while LeBron has never shied away from saying things with his chest, he pissed off many a Tanner and Becky Lynn on last night’s episode.
“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams, and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y’all to do or we get rid of y’all.’”
Well, yeah. That sound about right.
So much so that Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley—who was sitting right there when LeBron said this—nodded in agreement. But feel free to finish, Reverend James.
“The difference between the NBA and the NFL, the NBA is what we believe he [a player] can be. The potential,” James said. “In the NFL, it’s like what can you do for me this Sunday, or this Monday or this Thursday, and if you ain’t it, we moving on.”
This of course sent Pumpkin Spice Latte Twitter into a tailspin, but thankfully Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was on hand to remind everyone that the
slave revolt situation was under control—considering his team already threatened to cut any player who kneeled for the national anthem prior to the start of this season. But only after earning our Commander-in-Tweet’s praise for his stance on the matter last fall.
Which of course, drew the ire of
renegade slave ESPN commentator Michael Wilborn. “The word that comes to my mind, and I don’t care who doesn’t like me using it, is ‘plantation,’” Wilbon said at the time. “The players are here to serve me, they will do what I want no matter how much I pay them. They are not equal to me. That’s what this says to me and to mine.”
Also of note, there’s the time recently deceased Houston Texans owner Bob McNair told a room full of owners, team executives, and Commissioner Roger Goodell that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” during discussions addressing the ongoing national anthem protests. Of equal importance, McNair subsequently retracted his apology for those remarks as well.
“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair told the Wall Street Journal. “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for.”
Of course not, Massa.
But for those who believe
enslaved NFL players are oblivious to all this, you’d be sadly mistaken. In fact, I’ll let them tell you themselves since they’re not allowed to read or write.
- Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Michael Bennett: “It reminded me of the Dred Scott case. You’re property, so you don’t have the ability to be a person first.”
- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman: “The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, with the old plantation mentality. What did you expect?”
- Former NFL receiver Cecil Shorts III:
- Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin: “I don’t know how to put this, but to some people the NFL is basically modern-day slavery.”
And of course there’s Eric Reed, who’s been harassed with “random” drug tests all season as a consequence for his role in starting the national anthem protests in the first place.
So what exactly is LeBron wrong about again?