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Commenters who cross those lines may have their accounts temporarily or permanently suspended. In the accompanying article local Cleveland fans reactions are quoted. They tore his once-beloved No. They threw rocks at a story-tall billboard that features James with his head tossed back, arms pointing skyward…. Some fans tried to console Earl Mauldin, who was slumped over the bar hiding his face. Does Wojnarowski think the likes of elite white athletes like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are all humble saints who their team owners have never had to placate?
It has long been perceived that black athletes are required to follow a different code of conduct than white athletes. It has also been perceived that the media tends to heavily publicize and critique the missteps of black athletes while glossing over the missteps of white athletes.
McGianni Celestin notes that: The rules seem to be different also for white NFL player Ben Roethlisberger who has been accused of rape on more than one occasion. However, Roethlisberger has the not been the recipient of widespread condemnation and vilification by the media nor the general public. The difference in coverage is rooted in notions of black pathology and criminality.
Different standards of media criticism are applied to black and white athletes by the predominantly white sports media. This is in direct contradiction to notions of post-racialism and the dominant presence of blacks in football and basketball as evidence of racial progress. No one ever challenged him…and everyone had to agree they could no longer let his bossy and belittling act go unchecked.
Nearly two years later, the whispers in the back of the bus rolling through Beijing had become the loudest statement in free-agency history. The telephone call to the Cleveland Cavaliers came minutes before the 9 p. James exercised his earned free agency rights not get not one, but two great NBA sidekicks which led to him winning two NBA championships with Miami.
Black ambition, the exercising of black agency has always been seen as inappropriate and as a deviation from the supposed natural order of things; in which white people are always to be in charge. We can see an extreme example of such racism inwhen then candidate Barack Obama was running for the U. Staying in his place meant that James should not have received the amount of media attention and widespread public and private genuflecting that he did in Billionaires and millionaires are behaving like sobbing, screaming teenagers at a Justin Bieber concert.
Folks in Cleveland, where LeBron has spent the first seven years of his career, formed a choir of Northern Ohioans and sang a ballad produced for a TV ad. A billboard went up in downtown Chicago. In the case of Obama it was not simply the case of a black man running for the U. After all, there had been at least two black Americans who had previously run for the presidential nomination; Shirley Chisholm and Jesse Jackson. This banner showed a frontal waist up image of James with his hands spread wide in Christ-like fashion, wearing the team jersey with the words Cleveland spread across his chest.
Clearly, there is a biblical subtext to this language and imagery. The act of witnessing and bearing witness is an important element of the New Testament, take this biblical passage: For much of U. They witness something special. What matter are these witnesses seeking to establish with their testimony? In the racialized American historical tradition, LeBron James—as a black body—cannot be his own witness. In deciding to announce which team he would be choosing as a free agent to be play for live on cable television, LeBron James was asking all of America to bear witness.
About 13 million Americans decided to do so. America saw and did not approve of this act of black ambition and active personal and economic agency. The massive popularity of certain black athletes with white fans has been viewed as a sign of racial progress. What whites were embracing was not a black human being named Michael Jordan; but a character manufactured collaboratively by the NBA, Nike, Gatorade and the real Michael Jeffrey Jordan himself.
Could it be that this very iconography of commodified black athletic bodies is a visual tool to sustain the new racism which is really a new disguise for the old racism? The power of the iconography of the black athlete is rooted in the notion of difference, which presumes that race is not a social construct and that there is a real biological difference between those of white identity and those of black identity. This is why players with an urban background who offer a narrative of poverty, single-parent upbringing in crime and drug infested neighborhoods are more marketable figures for companies like Nike.
It is troubling because it would suggest that ultimately there are no acceptable criteria under which black agency, black excellence, achievement and even black humanity can be accepted in American society. Litwack tells us that black Americans after the Civil War and Reconstruction were determined to control their own labor.
Litwack provides us with further insight into how newly freed blacks were determined to exercise their newly acquired agency over their labor: On the plantations in Louisiana he managed for the absentee owner, Wilmer Shields experienced that now characteristic period of indecision and maneuvering before obtaining any success with the laborers.
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The almost always exhausting process of negotiating a contract would begin in the early fall and continue into the next year. In mid-Septemberfor example, Shields already despaired of retaining most of the laborers beyond the present crops. Let us draw a comparison between the way the Louisiana plantation manager is describing the manner in which other neighboring plantations were trying to lure away the black laborers with the way that in other NBA teams were trying to lure away LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to an article published in USA Today at the time: Betty White made a bid on behalf of staying in Cleveland. Longtime Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan writes in In fact, the NBA is so infused with black power that it is the only significant American institution I know of where the white man is inherently perceived to be inadequate to the task Ryan, Contemporary American society is infused with income, class and gender inequality as well as other forms of inequality.
It would be wholeheartedly impossible for any institution existing in such a society to be egalitarian, not even the NBA which on its face appears to be an athletic meritocracy dominated by Black athletes in contrast to every other industry in the U. The dominant presence of black players in the NBA and their hypervisibility as commodified figures cannot be taken as evidence of these athletes having power that is equivalent to the predominantly white male NBA owners.
This is a case where Ryan and most likely others are conflating visibility with power. Ryan goes on to site not only the dominance of black players, but the presence of black coaches and general managers to support his contention of the racial egalitarian nature of the NBA.
As it will be argued throughout this essay, players do not actually hold the power in the NBA, the power is held in the hands of the white owners with the exception of black Michael Jordan who owns the Charlotte Bobcats and East Indian Vivek Ranadive who owns the Sacramento Kingsthe NBA commissioner has always been a white man, with David Stern serving as commissioner for 30 years and being recently succeed by white Adam Silver.
The outcome of the NBA lockout in which NBA players were the losers in the final collective bargaining agreement, clearly demonstrates that the ownership minority is far more powerful than the player majority. Some identified the actions taken by the owners in as directly resulting from the actions of LeBron James in NBA owners wanted to make sure that NBA players in the future would severely be restricted from recreating what James, Wade and Bosh did, exercising their free agency to control where and with whom they would labor.
This speaks to position held by many scholars Carrington: It is ironic that in trying to showcase the irrelevance of race, Ryan ends up emphasis the relevance of race. James has been asked to save the city of Cleveland, Ohio. James would take the Cavaliers from sporting irrelevancy to sporting significance. In the season, more, more than 50 games were on national TV.
The city of Cleveland has a similar history to other American urban communities, like Newark, New Jersey and Baltimore, Maryland who have been disastrously impacted by deindustrialization, national and global trends and public policies that took place prior to LeBron James even being born.
The deindustrialization and urban decline of Cleveland produced the basketball star, global icon, commodity LeBron James that corporate entities Nike, Coca-Cola, Kia, McDonalds and Samsung employ to encourage the consumption of their diverse products. George Lipsitz has written that: It fuels a discourse that demonizes people of color for being victimized by these changes, while hiding the privileges of whiteness by attributing them to family values, fatherhood, and foresight—rather than favoritism.
Born on December 30, in Akron, Ohio to a year-old mother, Gloria James, he is a legacy of the conservative, neo-liberal policies that were enacted under Ronald Reagan.
The city of Cleveland is representative of the deindustrialization project that has devastated many U. However, despite the mythology urban communities are not the exclusive places that produce basketball players.
In fact, the NBA has many American players who originate from wealthy or middle-class backgrounds, including the sons of former NBA players or athletes from other sports.
In addition, there are many international players in the NBA, including the Gasol brothers from Spain, Dirk Nowitzki from Germany, and a host of players from Easter and Western Europe, as well as the African continent. It was not LeBron James who abandoned Cleveland and urban America, and countless black men like him whose names are not known because they did not possess elite athletic talent like LeBron James that would have enabled them to escape the dire poverty that they were born into due the United States long history of anti-black racism.
Even though we are more than a century removed from emancipation and a few decades removed from the Civil Rights movement, black entitlement is not fully accepted in America. Even in the case of LeBron James in which he was exercising his free agency rights, which had been collectively bargaining between the NBA and the NBA Players Union, there is an unwillingness to accept black agency.
LeBron James is the latest figure in a long history of black American male athletes who have captured the imagination of both white America and black America. Michael Jordan created the marketing blueprint for LeBron James and all subsequent modern black athletes from Tiger Woods to Kobe Bryant in not only becoming brand endorsers but becoming brands themselves.
Jordan might be singularly responsible for the global hypervisibility of black male athletes in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Thus an aspect of the Jordan blueprint is visibility without authority, a form of apolitical-ness. Jordan was the first black athlete to have so many multiple endorsement deals and be accepted by mainstream America; O.
The links between Simpson and Jordan in their mainstream acceptance was their unwillingness to offer criticism of social problems, particularly those dealing with race. Both men became golf enthusiast. The Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters tournament did not admit its first African-American member untiland in admitted black conservative Republican and former U.
Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice as one of its first two female members Bumiller, Their participation in golf as two mainstream black American athletes, the adopting of this white elite cultural practice, must be read as their allegiance to and acceptance of the American racial status quo. Jordan has not experienced the unprecedented fall from grace that Simpson experienced, he was far more successful than Simpson as an endorser, and remains as a valuable commodified figure today.
Oftentimes, it has been one singular moment in which this disruption happened. Black athletes and their bodies, beginning specifically with Jack Johnson have been serving as racialized signs in the U.
Kornelia Tancheva offers a theory of signification that is useful to this argument. The black athlete in America is a dynamic, mutating, racialized cultural sign which only historical analysis and contextualization can make stable enough for proper interpretation.
In analyzing LeBron James we must take into account the various groups who are interpreting the sign that is LeBron James, while recognizing that this sign is neither static nor singular.
Like Mike We can label this the Jordan blueprint which has been adopted by a host of athletes including Tiger Woods and LeBron James; this act of being race neutral and spectacular. However, it is clear that the Jordan Brand is basketball focused, with far more basketball players in this fictional branding family. While LeBron James has publicly admits to idolizing Michael Jordan growing up and looking to Jordan as early role model, he has not made strong mention of now retired basketball player Allen Iverson as influence on him.
Commissioner David Stern attempted to polish his product by cracking down on do-rags, T-shirts and big jewelry last year…Allen Iverson had the kind of image that the league did not want to see…Iverson, the All-Star guard with the cornrows and tattoos, went from being the kid with a crossover to an international hip-hop icon, to a Philadelphia idol, to a player who scorned practice and his coach… Robbins, Of the many things that can be said of Michael Jordan, that he became a Hip-Hop icon is not one of them, Michael Jordan was celebrated by Hip-Hop culture, embraced by black youth and urban black communities; but Jordan himself was not a product of Hip-Hop culture in the fashion of Allen Iverson.
Iverson and James are the sons of teenage single mothers. Jordan offered a respectable, middle-class and safe brand of black masculinity. James walks a tightrope between perceived Hip-Hop authenticity of Iverson and the mainstream marketing acceptability of Michael Jordan. That is, the exclusion of black athletes from joining white athletes to compete as equals in the boxing ring, on the tennis court, the baseball field or the football field. One might assume that the participation and presence of black athletes in U.
However, there is white resentment and resistance to the overwhelming presence of black athletes in American sports. As has been previously explained the black presence in major league sports is both visible and invisible and requires careful management for its white consumers. As journalist Charles P. What is this magic formula that Stern used to make Black players palatable to white spectators?
Much has been written about how enslaved black people in the United States and black people during the Jim Crow era deftly and strategically used the performance and pretext of joviality to quell and manage white anxiety.
Among the most notable player who was unwilling to perform in the manner that David Stern wanted was Allen Iverson. It is widely believed that Stern instituted a dress code for NBA players, requiring them to wear business attire at NBA events including when they are sitting on the bench for a game they are not playing in. It still remains unacceptable to both be the best and be black. Of the four U. Knowing this the NBA prices tickets accordingly, it will cost a fan more too see a Brooklyn Nets home game if they are playing against LeBron James and the Cavaliers, then if the Nets are facing the Orlando Magic a team that does not currently have a marquee superstar.
A star player does not simply create revenue for his team but for the entire league; more fans will attend a game in which the home team is facing a star opponent. Studies show that ratings for NBA games correspond to the presence of a star athlete. Ironically, enough the backlash and anger created by LeBron James decision to leave Cleveland to play for Miami, brought increased interest in the league and dramatically increased television viewership.
This process has been duplicated with other black sporting bodies besides Jordan. Black athletes in the sport of basketball have not been able to fully realize their will when faced with the resistance of team owners and a white public that fears and resents black ambition and agency.
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The results of the NBA lockout clearly indicate it is NBA owners who are most able to exercise their will in the face of player resistance. In the case of the NBA draft the select players who are expected to go high in the draft are invited to the draft where the sit at individual tables with family members and friends to wait to hear their name being called. Afterwards, there is always a camera waiting to have the draftee express his gratitude for being drafted and the pledging of his loyalty to his new team and NBA city.
Biographical information is provided about the young men in the draft pool and it is often about the hardships they have had to endure, particularly the absence of fathers. The discomfort with black agency and black control of black labor is rooted in slavery and emancipation. George Yancy contends that in North America: In a similar fashion what the black body of O.
Simpson meant in the s was different than what the black body of O. Simpson meant in after he was accused of murdering his former wife, the white Nicole Brown Simpson. Simpson we actually observed this occurring. The black body of LeBron James has had many meanings.
As a high school basketball Phenom his represented economic opportunity to college coaches, friends and associates. Herman Gray proclaims that: Black heterosexual masculinity is figured in the popular imagination as the basis of masculine hero worship in the case of rappers; as naturalized and commodified bodies in the case of athletes; as symbol of menace and threat in the case of black gang members; and as noble warriors in the case of Afrocentric nationalists and Fruit of Islam The Senate debated Versailles in Septemberand Harding made a major speech against it.
By then, Wilson had suffered a stroke while on a speaking tour. With an incapacitated president in the White House and less support in the country, the treaty was defeated. These plans ended when Roosevelt suddenly died on January 6, Among those coveting Harding's seat were former governor Willis he had been defeated by James M.
On December 17,Harding made a low-key announcement of his presidential candidacy. Harding was far more acceptable to the "Old Guard" leaders of the party. His strategy was to make Harding an acceptable choice to delegates once the leaders faltered. Daugherty established a Harding for president campaign office in Washington run by his confidant, Jess Smithand worked to manage a network of Harding friends and supporters, including Frank Scobey of Texas clerk of the Ohio State Senate during Harding's years there.
Despite the candidate's work, according to Russell, "without Daugherty's Mephistophelean efforts, Harding would never have stumbled forward to the nomination. Harding, speech before the Home Market Club, Boston, May 14,  There were only 16 presidential primary states inof which the most crucial to Harding was Ohio.
Harding had to have some loyalists at the convention to have any chance of nomination, and the Wood campaign hoped to knock Harding out of the race by taking Ohio. Wood campaigned in the state, and his supporter, Procter, spent large sums; Harding spoke in the non-confrontational style he had adopted in Harding and Daugherty were so confident of sweeping Ohio's 48 delegates that the candidate went on to the next state, Indiana, before the April 27 Ohio primary.
In Indiana, Harding finished fourth, with less than ten percent of the vote, and failed to win a single delegate. He was willing to give up and have Daugherty file his re-election papers for the Senate, but Florence Harding grabbed the phone from his hand, "Warren Harding, what are you doing?
Not until the convention is over. Think of your friends in Ohio! Johnson was deemed to be behind the inquiry, and the rage of the Lowden and Wood factions put an end to any possible compromise among the frontrunners. Of the almost 1, delegates, 27 were women—the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitutionguaranteeing women the vote, was within one state of ratification, and would pass before the end of August.
Harding had asked Willis to place his name in nomination, and the former governor responded with a speech popular among the delegates, both for its folksiness and for its brevity in the intense Chicago heat. Daugherty  Four ballots were taken on the afternoon of June 11, and they revealed a deadlock. Historians have focused on the talks held in the suite of Republican National Committee RNC Chairman Will Hays at the Blackstone Hotelat which senators and others came and went, and numerous possible candidates were discussed.
Utah Senator Reed Smootbefore his departure early in the evening, backed Harding, telling Hays and the others that as the Democrats were likely to nominate Governor Cox, they should pick Harding to win Ohio.
Smoot also told The New York Times that there had been an agreement to nominate Harding, but that it would not be done for several ballots yet. Two other participants in the smoke-filled room discussions, Kansas Senator Charles Curtis and Colonel George Brinton McClellan Harveya close friend of Hays, predicted to the press that Harding would be nominated because of the liabilities of the other candidates.
Harvey stated he asked if there was anything in Harding's background that might harm his candidacy, to which the senator, who had had at least one extramarital affair, replied there was not. Harding biographer Charles W. Murray noted that there is no evidence besides Harvey's word that Harding went to the Hays suite that night, and that other participants denied that Harding was there.
Although this was not true, delegates believed it, and sought a way out by voting for Harding. Lodge then declared a three-hour recess, to the outrage of Daugherty, who raced to the podium, and confronted him, "You cannot defeat this man this way!
The motion was not carried! You cannot defeat this man! The nomination was made unanimous. The delegates, desperate to leave town before they incurred more hotel expenses, then proceeded to the vice presidential nomination. Harding wanted Senator Irvine Lenroot of Wisconsin, who was unwilling to run, but before Lenroot's name could be withdrawn and another candidate decided on, an Oregon delegate proposed Governor Coolidge, which was met with a roar of approval from the delegates.
Coolidge, popular for his role in breaking the Boston police strike ofwas nominated for vice president, receiving two and a fraction votes more than Harding had. James Morgan wrote in The Boston Globe: On such things, Rollo, turns the destiny of nations. The New York World found Harding the least-qualified candidate since James Buchanandeeming the Ohio senator a "weak and mediocre" man who "never had an original idea.
Delegates were convinced Wilson's health would not permit him to serve, and looked elsewhere for a candidate. Former Treasury Secretary William G.
McAdoo was a major contender, but he was Wilson's son-in-law, and refused to consider a nomination so long as the president wanted it. As Cox was, when not in politics, a newspaper owner and editor, this placed two Ohio editors against each other for the presidency, and some complained there was no real political choice. Both Cox and Harding were economic conservatives, and were reluctant progressives at best. Babe Ruth 's record-setting home run pace.