Posted on July 12, 2010

Jesse Jackson Says LeBron Treated Like a ‘Runaway Slave’

Chicagoist, July 12, 2010

While many Cleveland Cavaliers fans expressed their displeasure with NBA star LeBron James’ departure for the warmer climate of Miami by burning James’ merchandise in the streets, the team’s majority owner Dan Gilbert instead took to the Cavs’ website, where he hammered out a Comic Sans screed about how Cleveland was “cowardly betrayed” by James, and he guaranteed “that the Cleveland Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before the self-titled former ‘King’ wins one.”

{snip}In a statement released by Jackson on Sunday through his organization Rainbow PUSH, he said:

“[Gilbert] speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave.”

Albeit a “slave” that was made a $120 million offer. Jackson’s not the only one making the slavery comparison–in a speech last week Louis Farrakhan called the NBA a “big plantation” and said that LeBron is a “sharecropper,” and the likening of professional sports to slavery is not a new concept.


[The full text of Jesse Jackson’s response to Dan Gilbert can be read here. The full text of Dan Gilbert’s open letter to Cavaliers fans can be read here.]