LeBron James: Rev. Jesse Jackson is Wrong About Dan Gilbert

Jerome FosterContributor IIIJuly 12, 2010

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  Reverend Jesse Jackson poses during the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called LeBron James "narcissistic" and "cowardly" among other things after James announced that he was leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, a few thoughts came to my mind.

I thought that Gilbert was being childish and should be above that kind of behavior. But I never thought that Gilbert's comments had any racial overtones in them.

Well, Rev. Jesse Jackson doesn't feel that way. "He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," Jackson said in a statement that was released Sunday. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as his runaway slave."

I think Jackson is way off the mark here. Nothing about any of Gilbert's comments had anything to do with slaves or anything of that nature.

Dan Gilbert's comments about James had everything to do with an NBA owner who felt he did everything to keep his superstar happy and it not being enough.

His comments had everything to do with watching the only thing that made his franchise relevant walk out of town. For Jackson to compare those comments anything dealing with slavery is irresponsible and unfair to Gilbert.

But this isn't the first time Jackson has linked race to a sports story. Anyone remember the Duke Lacrosse case?

Jackson needs to stop injecting race where it doesn't belong. Every story that involves a black person and a white person isn't always based on race. But Jackson loves to insert it where he can, even if he is the only one that sees it.

That's the reason why many blacks, including myself, don't allow Jackson to speak for us.

To many blacks, Jackson is a hypocrite who loves to see his face on camera or name in print.

It would be naive to believe that racism and discrimination doesn't still exist in this country but Gilbert's comments weren't one of those cases.

This story wasn't about black and white. It was about the green.