In a recent interview, LeBron James said he thinks race was a factor in the intense backlash he received for trading Cleveland for the Miami Heat. Read on to find out what else he said plus get the deets on Kassim Osgood’s ordeal involving a gun, a girl and her ex-boyfriend…
Last night on Wednesday’s edition of "Primetime" on CNN, LeBron James told Soledad O’Brien that he thought race was a factor in the backlash to his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers saying, "I think so, at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor."
When asked to clarify his statement after Thursday morning’s practice session, LeBron said, "I’m not going to go back on my words. I think people are looking too into it."
Maverick Carter, a 28-year-old who is one of Lebron’s closest advisers, said race "definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure."
A recent release of Q Scores, a polling system that measures popularity, appeared to support the notion.
According to James’s recent Q scores, his positive Q rating among African Americans dropped from 52 percent in January to 39 percent in September. His negative Q rating increased from 14 percent to 15 percent. Among non-blacks, James’ negative Q rating went from 24 percent to 44 after his free-agency announcement. Some believe race plays a role in these ratings.
During the CNN interview, Bron Bron also talked about the widely criticized July ESPN special that revealed his decision. "It was my idea and the people around me’s idea," he said.
But it should be noted that the show raised $3 million for Boys & Girls Club of America.
"We own the advertising time. We went out and sold it to brands and we took every dime and donated it to charity," Maverick Carter said.
Frank Sanchez, a vice president of Boys & Girls Club of America, addressed that aspect.
"LeBron was using a significant moment in time to benefit young people," he said. "And a lot of people can take those opportunities and make it about them. . . . His goal was to make it about kids and make it about giving opportunities for kids."
Very true. Though that hour did seem to be all about him….to me. Lebron ended by saying, "For me to have an opportunity to give back to the Boys & Girls Club of America, that I would never change that," he said. "And if I have to take heat to give back to kids, I would do it the same way every single time."
Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Kassim Osgood had to leap out of a second-floor window Monday night to escape an intruder who attacked him and 19-year-old Jaguars cheerleader Mackenzie Rae Putnal at her home.
The intruder, now identified as Putnal’s ex-boyfriend Julian Armond Bartletto, exchanged gunfire with Putnal before putting a gun to her head, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Kassim, 30, sustained some minor bruises during the attack and while fleeing.
Kassim and Mackenzie were watching television around 11 p.m. when Julian walked in wearing a plastic bag over his face and pointed a gun at them. Julian then said, “I can’t believe you’re with that guy,” before pulliing Mackenzie around the room by her hair. He hit her with the gun and his fists before hitting Kassim in the head with the gun.
Mackenzie escaped downstairs where she grabbed a gun and exchanged shots with Julian, both of them missed. Meanwhile, Kassim jumped out the second floor window and ran to a neighbor’s house to call police.
Julian Bartletto, 20, of Jacksonville, was arrested for aggravated battery, false imprisonment, armed robbery, burglary and violation of an injunction. He is being held without bond at the Duval County Jail.
This was like a scene right out of a Hollywood movie. Luckily all the parties survived. When asked about Kassim, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said “He’s fine. I’m aware of it. I really can’t comment on that whole deal. He’s doing OK.”
Mackenzie however, didn’t seem to fare so well. The Jaguars declined comment on her status as one of the team’s 32 cheerleaders, and she is no longer on the team’s website. The team has a rule forbidding cheerleaders to date players.
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