Memo to Jesse Jackson: Stay Out of Sports and Shut Up!

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IJuly 12, 2010

When I look at the news on the television, in a paper, or on a website, I am not blind to the fact we live on a planet where many injustices occur.

There are people who hate others that they have never met. There are people who look at a person and hate because they have a disability, a certain color of flesh or they speak a different language.

Racism is the greatest tragedy of all time. It's the predisposed hatred or intense dislike for someone because of what they are, not who they are.

To a racist, it doesn't matter if you are a doctor or a railroad worker but rather if you are white or polka-dotted.

I don't believe in that.

I think racism is an evil disgusting thing. I may have stereotypes, but in no way am I a racist.

I also don't believe this country is as racist as it used to be. I truly believe that we have made progress to a more peaceful co-existence amongst all races.

However, due to the mass media that is obsessed with convincing people that there is still a large multitude of racism, my main interest became sports.

Sports is a place where I don't have to hear about this country and that country. The worst I deal with is opposing fan bases and some ethically flawed people I write about at times.

However, my world has been invaded. My world has been infiltrated by an identity that is trying to use it to get press for his policies and his agenda, and I cannot stand it.

So, I reiterate my opening sentiments. SHUT UP REVEREND JESSE JACKSON!

Yes, I am aware that those are all capitalized letters but they are pure that way because when I first heard of his obnoxious and insulting statements, I yelled that same statement out of annoyance and aggravation.

Nothing is more annoying than listening to this man who thinks that he can attempt to be what the great Martin Luther King was.

He has decided to put his two cents on the LeBron James situation with his own words.

The city of Cleveland is still nursing the wound that LeBron James has opened.

He was in their hearts, and when he left, he shot out of the city's chest and there is blood and tears flowing out, and Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, in his frustration and grief, posted a letter to the fans.

This letter was a written pledge of hard work to building a championship for the city of Cleveland.

Gilbert made it clear to Cleveland that he felt betrayed by LeBron James, and that he would never hurt Cleveland the way that the reigning NBA MVP had.

He went further into putting a curse on LeBron James, saying that he will not win a championship until he atones for his sin against Cleveland.

The whole letter can be found here:

I have to clap my hands in respect for this owner who comforts his fans in a time of need and took upon an action not required by him by any means yet still did it.

He is an owner who isn't above the fans. I feel a lot of owners look at sports as money and business instead of as a competitive game to try and win championships.

Of course the NBA and other leagues are about making money, but the primary objective of any franchise is to reward the fans that stick behind them without any financial incentive with great games, with autographs, with affection, and with the utmost attempt to win a championship.

Sports is about emotion, about teamwork and about loyalty.

You find out who your friends are in these activities, and you find out about the other person by how they play. The business part is secondary really.

However, Jesse Jackson decided to open his mouth and proceeded to not understand the situation like he has done in the past so often.

Dan Gilbert had told media that he felt that LeBron's actions were "cowardly" and about how Cleveland even gave him preferential treatment in the past, and now we, the public, were seeing the cold hard truth.

Jesse Jackson now has called Dan Gilbert a slave owner in response, and said his comments were, "mean, arrogant and presumptuous."

The exact statements that Sports Illustrated posted were:

"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers,'' the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship—between business partners— and LeBron honored his contract.''

Where do I start?

Do I start with history, sports psychology, or how this is a politician trying to usurp his way into sports?

His comments are odious to begin with.

He is using this situation because Dan Gilbert is a powerful Caucasian owner of an NBA team, and LeBron James is basketball player that looks like he lifts weights on a daily basis.

He wouldn't dare make this metaphor if LeBron James was Larry Bird or if Dan Gilbert's last name was actually Jefferson.

With this type of statement, he's trying to gain young African American support by portraying how he is behind, arguably, the greatest African American athlete of our generation.

This "slave master mentality" line is one that infuriates me.

If it were not a waste of time because Jesse Jackson isn't worth it, I'd actually call upon Dan Gilbert to file a lawsuit for severe slander. That kind of accusation is very damaging to Dan Gilbert's image to the public, and Jesse Jackson isn't above using people to get what he wants.

Mr. Jackson, where do you get off pulling a stunt like this?

Do you just like starting trouble?

Does he even understand sports?

I dare say it, but I don't think he understands sports because if he did, he would know that Dan Gilbert isn't speaking as the owner of LeBron James or the owner of the Cavaliers really.

For a guy who went to a college on a football scholarship and actually was offered a baseball contract, he sure is oblivious to sports psychology.

Dan Gilbert was speaking as citizen of Cleveland and as the representative of that city. I know of the emotional situation in Cleveland, and they are in total agreement with Dan Gilbert.

Last I checked, I'm pretty sure there were dark-skinned people in Cleveland.

Do they have "slave master" complexes because they feel betrayed by LeBron James as well?

Or is it just the rich Caucasian owner of the Cavaliers?

Jesse Jackson is correct on one thing though. LeBron James did fulfill his contract to the Cavaliers and is not legally bound to stay in Cleveland. That is the complete truth yes.

However, what makes a great man is when he'll do the morally right thing as well as the legally right thing as well. LeBron James had made an oath to Cleveland to bring championships there Mr. Jackson, and there was a time when a man's word was as good as a piece of paper.

I say I'm going to do something, I go and do it. I don't look for an excuse not to do it. LeBron James took the easy way out.

To me, it is no different than if lets say I married this wonderful girl named Grace, whom I adore, but as soon as she goes on a business trip, I proceed to have an affair with her friend Lindy.

I can't be put in jail for my sins because it isn't a crime. I can cheat on my wife with whomever I want, and it is not against the law.

That doesn't make me any less despicable, and that doesn't mean I cause any less amount of hurt than if I punched my wife instead, which actually is a crime.

LeBron James didn't assault Cleveland, but he didn't keep his oath and that is enough reason for Dan Gilbert to be upset, and to bring race into this issue is erroneous and just plain self-serving.

I wouldn't expect you to understand that though, Mr. Jackson.

You were born in South Carolina. Ha! You don't know what it is like to grow up with a professional sports team.

You don't know what it is like to stay hopeful year after year after year with the slight chance that your team will win the championship and a parade will be thrown downtown.

You don't know what it is like to see a remarkable athlete rise from your home state and play for you.

You don't know what it is like to see someone and be grateful to watch him play for you and know that win or lose, he's playing for you.

You don't know what it is like to work a tough job and come home at night with the sole purpose of watching your team and seeing them win makes up for the lousy corn beef sandwich you had for lunch or the jerk who cut you off on the freeway.

You don't live in Cleveland, so you don't know what it is like to be a Cavaliers fan right now, so you don't have the right to judge Dan Gilbert's emotions.

He who is without sin shall cast the first stone, Reverend.

Go away Jesse Jackson. The NBA doesn't have to listen to you and your demands that Dan Gilbert's comments be looked into.

Stay away from sports world and go back to wherever you came from because your politics aren't needed here.


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