16:41 GMT +323 July 2019
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    LeBron James.

    'Old White Men': NBA Star Rips NFL Owners' 'Slave Mentality', Twitter Fires Back

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    LeBron James drew a comparison between the two giant professional sport leagues, the NBA and NFL, noting NFL management’s approach is short-sighted, with owners pursuing a stick and carrot policy. Twitter users have struck back saying this is the essence of any kind of business.

    NBA star LeBron James has voiced some of the strongest criticism of NFL team owners’ attitudes from a professional sportsman, blasting what he called  “a slave mentality” with regard to their players, many of whom are African Americans.

    Appearing on HBO’s “The Shop” James accused white owners of US football teams of attempting to stand in the way of their players’ political self-expression, stating unequivocally that these people threaten strict measures if their players do not agree with something that they have been told to do:

    “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f--- I tell y’all to do, or we get rid of y’all.’”

    However, the four-time NBA MVP went on to laud Adam Silver, his league’s commissioner, for his predominantly supportive stance on players having their say about politics, “and it doesn’t even matter if he agrees with what we are saying”.

    “He at least wants to hear us out. As long as we are doing it in a very educational, non-violent way, then he’s absolutely OK with it”.

    James expressed the way he sees the differences between the two sports approaches to athletes, noting they lie in the fact that unlike the NFL, the NBA focuses on a player’s contributions not solely in the immediate future, but in the long run, including off the field.

    “In the NFL, it’s what can you do for me this Sunday or this Monday or this Thursday. And if you ain’t it, we moving on," James pointed out.

    Meanwhile, James’s words met a variety of reactions on Twitter, with many unable to resist the temptation to mock players’ royalties worth millions of dollars for having “to listen to old white men” for the better part of the year. One even noted there is nothing wrong in subordination, especially is someone “owns something.”

    One suggested James hadn’t perhaps been taught at secondary school what slavery actually is:

    However others countered, saying the NBA superstar inadvertently portrayed any workplace, and this is what the definition of “business” entails:

    The NFL has recently raised quite a bit of controversy over how the league has reacted to players’, namely Colin Kaepernick’s protests against police brutality and racial injustice, in which they took a knee when the national anthem was played before games. President Trump and many football fans condemned the move encouraging NFL owners to fire anthem protesters.

    They viewed the NFL players’ motion as disrespect for the American flag, when they chose to take a knee during the song's performance. In May, the NFL issued a fresh national anthem policy requiring all players to stand during the anthem or alternatively remain in the locker room until the ceremony was over.


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