LeBron James is not here for the “Make America great again” fuckboy-ness that has epitomized white nationalism.
On Saturday, as the Cleveland Cavaliers were laying a full-body smackdown on the Boston Celtics, James went to the sideline, where he wiped his face. An old white man wearing the new Ku Klux Klan hood of 2018, aka a red “Make America Great Again” hat, held his hand to ask James for his sweat-soaked towel. James looked at the man and then threw the towel beyond his reach.
Two things stand out in this moment: The first is, isn’t it just like a “MAGA” cuckold to openly despise people of color while wearing Kanye West’s favorite accessory and simultaneously wanting the sweat-stained rag of a black man? And second, James will never be here for your white nationalist, tiki-torch-wielding, white supremacy bullshit.
LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan—when it comes to social activism—and that can’t even be debated. Jordan was historically silent throughout his career on issues of social justice. Jordan maintained a Clarence Thomas level of silence during race-related issues throughout his stellar career.
When is comes to social justice, LeBron James is a throwback player. He’s as outspoken as Muhammad Ali. He’s as committed to his people as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and vehemently pro-black, the way Jim Brown used to be. He’s used his platform to talk police killings, including the shooting death of Tamir Rice and the choking death of Eric Garner, and openly endorsed Hillary Clinton’s run to the White House against Donald Trump.
In 2014, James penned a first-person essay in Sports Illustrated in which he noted that it was his duty to use his platform to help others:
I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead ... I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business ... Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
And here’s what James had to say when someone spray-painted “nigger” on the front gate of his Los Angeles home: “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.”
With all of the divisiveness coming out of Trump’s White House, James even used his shoes to make a statement. During a December game against the Washington Wizards, he sported one white shoe and one black shoe with the words “Equality” written across the back.
Point is, James isn’t here for the “MAGA” fuck shit. I know that some outlets have claimed he didn’t see the guy or the “MAGA” hat, but he saw that dude and promptly encapsulated the sentiments all of us who will never give up the sweat-soaked hand towel as long as you are riding with evil.